Despite the recent news from Blizzard that Heroes of the Storm’s development cadence is being scaled back, with some of its developers being shifted to work on other projects, the latest update from Production Director Kaéo Milker seems more or less optimistic about the game’s future. “While our team is smaller,” Milker writes, “we’re a fully functional group of developers who can create the features and content we all want, in time.”
Over the next few months, the next HotS hero will be announced before he/she/it hits the PTR in the first week of January, “and that hero will be followed by a string of cool events and hero reworks en route to our next hero release.” Beyond that, however, things are less certain, Milker says that the team is “actively discussing” patch and content-update cadence as well as “reconsidering some very core areas of the game to identify more ways we can make Heroes even better for players.”
Meanwhile, in other Blizzard news, Eurogamer sources from Blizzard’s Cork, Ireland, office report that “over 100 people have decided to leave the company” as part of “a voluntary program that offers staff money to leave Blizzard.” The departures have reportedly put some stress on the remaining customer service representatives, but Blizzard assures players that they “should continue to expect the same award-winning level of service from Blizzard today as they have received in the past.”
“The employees who are choosing to leave the company later this month are taking advantage of a voluntary and longstanding program we offer in various locations around the world. This program, which has proven popular in the past, gives eligible staff the option to make the most of incentives while proactively pursuing other career opportunities. No one is required or encouraged to participate in this program, but for those who do, we work hard to make it generous.”
And last, but not least, Blizzard has been taking new steps to combat rule-breaking by Overwatch League pro players, this time by way of good ol’-fashioned public shaming. The studio has put together a “discipline tracker” that contains a list of all pro players who have violated the OWL’s code of conduct and the punishments meted out to them. Whether the threat of shame actually makes a difference in pro players’ behaviors remains to be seen, but somehow it seems unlikely.