Blizzard Rumors Once Again

Rumors are usually something best left alone, but when it comes to Blizzard rumors they might as well be true. The most recent rumors have made their way to Reddit and are worth a read if you enjoy Blizzard games as I generally do.

Hearthstone is doing incredibly well.  As I have often said, I think this is a great path for Blizzard and any company to take. I think Hearthstone is brilliant and I’m eager for it to come to iPhone. The fact that Blizzard is profiting so much from Hearthstone and outsourcing WoW art asset creation does lend credence to my insane notion that they are slowly phasing out WoW in favor of games like Hearthstone.

Gutting the Diablo 3 team is no shocker as the game itself has seen growing pains and failed to really gain the traction of other Blizzard titles. What’s surprising is that the staff are working on a Starcraft game with Left4Dead, Dayz, and Smite elements. I have no idea how that will all combine together into anything feasible… but I imagine how awesome it might be to play as a Marine in a FPS scenario against other players taking control of zergling and hydralisks.  That could be a blast!

The news that Heroes of the Storm might not be doing so hot, or at least expected to do so hot, saddens me. I like it a lot more than DOTA and definitely way more than LoL. It’s not even out of beta yet and if the rumor is true it might end up being scrapped before it ever begins — Blizzard has done it before (SC Ghost).

Lastly, Overwatch’s business model is being tossed around. I’m convinced it’ll be some sort of TF2 F2P meets B2P (hows that for acronyms?) which will make stupid amounts of cash. That will surprise absolutely no one.

I wouldn’t mind if the rumors all came true. I’ll be sad about HotS but otherwise seems like a direction I’d be happy to see Blizzard go.  Now, any news about Warcraft 4?

P.S. WoW expansions and all that yada yada.

 

  • I don’t see anything about Heroes of the Storm being scrapped? I read that “The insider thinks many of the senior staff on the Heroes of the Storm team will be laid off” as meaning laid off AFTER release.. implying that they don’t plan ongoing heavy work on it (due to the low expectations?)

    It’s a tough genre to break into, that one. I don’t like MOBAs at all, myself, so I can’t comment on HotS’s quality. But the competition is certainly a lot tougher than what Hearthstone faced, for instance.

  • The rumors are that HotS is expected to not do so well. I’m saying I hope that doesn’t lead to a scrapping of the project like Blizzard is known for being willing to do when they suspect a less-than-ideal game.

  • When Hearthstone, a game with incredible production quality, is offered free, it’s a bit of a shock to see HotS start out with the beloved “pay for early access” model.

    Seems to me when everyone else does that then the game has issues and they know it.

    Blizzard, of any company out there, doesn’t need to do it this way. But they are. Why?

    (Even if it were offered free I’d have no interest in HotS. I’d play enough to get my WoW mount and that’d be it.)

  • I played Heroes of The Storm and while I would be surprised if it came anywhere close to LoL or Dota, it could have carved out its space. Unlike you, I do think it is inferior to LoL mainly because it simplifies the gameplay too much. It feels like a nice pick up and play for five minutes but without any depth, I cannot see how it can hook anyone long enough that they would spend money. Far less develop a dedicated tournament scene. Heck, even Smite could be a challenge for them to pass as it launches on consoles soon.

    As for Hearthstone, it is already established that it is a success. However, for an F2P game, number of players is irrelevant. What matters is revenues. Hearthstone being number one was a foregone conclusion at launch. The genre is steeped in mediocrity.

  • @V: I think Blizzard is in the, “let’s try this and see what happens” mode.

    @Jidhari: personally, the reason I like HotS is the simplicity. Let’s me focus on what I like to do in game more and not worry about sucking.

  • Hearthstone is a good game, but for a TCG i find it lacks depth. Obviously i can only speak for myself (and the people i know) but i and my friends lost any interest in playing it, especialy after the last expansion and all the random elements of cards.

    I have the same issue with HotS, its fun for a short time for me, but again lacks the depth and skill curve that DotA or LoL provide. I´m sure it will find its audience, but i don´t see anyone at Riot or Valve careing about it. Its simply no “threat” to them.

    When it comes to Blizzard i prefer to agree with Syncaine and think that the old Blizzard beats the new one in every aspect. So far i´m only looking forward to Legacy of the Void and hopefuly (though i have doubts) a fitting end for the story.

    I couldn´t care less about their upcoming team shooter or small f2p games with paywalls.

  • Oh without question old Blizzard beats new Blizzard. That’s why I’m begging for Warcraft 4. I want the old days and company. HotS to me isn’t a TCG. The depth isn’t there. At all. It’s more of just a card game.

    HotS lacks depth in some mechanics but adds map and gameplay features I enjoy. In a weird way the simplicity makes it less stressful and that means I can play more often without feeling like I need to decompress after each match.

  • I think its pretty plausible this all is true.

    1. Next WoW expansion almost done would go with their 1 expac a year, WoD only having 2 raid tiers idea
    2. A starcraft 2 FPS type game could be huge
    3. Diablo 3 I believe has fallen to the wayside, I doubt we will see any more major content coming to it (sorry Yotor but Path of Exile has won)
    4. Hearthstone is only going to get bigger then it comes to iphone
    5. Overwatch alpha coming soon Im sure is true (looked almost finished at blizzcon)
    6.HoTS will not have any chance in the competitve moba market.. Dota and league are to big and too popular.. almost no chance blizz can break into this. Also smite is coming to consoles soon.

  • Someone mentioned elsewhere that Hots on twitch has as much viewers as starcraft 2.
    For a game not even released that sounds like it is doing well.

    Another sign is people still actively asking for invites/keys.
    There is demand.

    I did get access like a week ago and kept playing it ever since.
    It draws you in and its fun.
    Love the animations and eye for detail.

    They could always add more complicated stuff on top of the casual experience after a year or so, when people have gotten used to the game and not get overwhelmed.

    I can not see myself go back to LoL or smite.
    Hots is fun and you feel attached to the heroes.

  • I really like HotS. It is actually my go to game right now. Pretty disappointed to hear this news. Hopefully its not true. The game is pretty polished, and I like the different game modes. Kinda surprised to hear that they have low expectations, because it feels like a game that could do really well.

  • @zyler: I haven’t played in a couple of weeks but I enjoy playing Rehgar because he is so offensive but great support too.

  • I would be surprised if HotS wouldn’t do well with the typical trophy wife approach to game design, i.e. polished, attractive, accessible, and dumbed down.

    Before anyone states that LoL or DotA2 will be too much competition, I am not convinced the dedicated MOBA player is their target audience, although there will be some from this population that will migrate over either for the shiny Blizzard presentation or perhaps for a break from the more demanding competitive atmosphere.

    I think it could be a win-win for all entries in the MOBA market as HotS will introduce new players into the MOBA genre, some of which will migrate to LoL and DotA2.

    The question isn’t whether HotS can out gross other MOBA’s, but can it be a profitable product in its own right.

  • I agree with Gankatron. I think it isn’t meant to be a competitive Moba with the depth of dota or lol. For me it is meant to be a more casual arcade-like experience. It’s not meant to be “better” than Dota. I personally like it better because it’s less intense and easier for me to enjoy and be good at.

  • Yeah that is my situation also. I find the concept intriguing and enjoyable up to the point where the stress of the competitive aspect outweighs the fun.

    With respects to MOBA’s, …I am choking on the words , …I might just be considered a , …casual , …player, that is one that would give HotS a try, especially in private matches with friends.

  • I am 100% a “casual” moba player. I like the jump-in-jump-out ease of playing with friends and not worrying about min-maxing as hardcore as necessary to play Dota.

  • How much money would casuals drop on 100% fluff in a MOBA? Blizzard is clearly finding that out now.

    That’s why the game is (correctly) being put aside. You can’t bank on super-casuals funding you when you don’t push/trick them into spending like most F2P P4P games, and a P4P MOBA is a complete no-go.

  • @SynCaine: You would probably be surprised. Especially since it’s not just fluff you can buy. I know a couple people who only play 1-2 nights a week and only 3-4 hours each of those nights (which I consider pretty casual) and both spent money to buy a hero. This is where the money is, not in the fluff, but in selling heroes for real money as well as in game earned currency.

    I think you would honestly be surprised at how much money people will spend due to impatience.

    Either way, I hope it does continue to get support and get released, while I still occasionally play league, it’s maybe 2-3 games a week, and I tend to play heroes (or infinite crisis… cause comics) a lot more. Heroes is much more relaxing.

    Same for Diablo 3 as well, though blizzard did deny that rumor outright. I actually really really enjoy the current iteration of Diablo 3. I honestly believe if they had released Diablo 3 as it is now it would have been very successful. Sadly the process of getting to this point . Which is sad, and makes me think gamers in general are much more “short-term” as Diablo 2 was also pretty horrible on release yet is now regarded as one of the best games of all times.

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