‘Heroes Of Newerth’ To Shut Down On June 2022

Heroes Of Newerth is holding special events for its player base, as a good bye.

Heroes of Newerth Heroes Black Smith Valkyre Devourer Soul Reaper Pyromancer Pebbles Moon Queen
Image by Pinterest.com

‘Heroes Of Newerth’ announced that it’s shutting down its servers in June 2022. However, it plans to go away with a “big bang!”

What’s ‘Heroes Of Newerth’?

Heroes Of Newerth (HoN) is a MOBA game released on 12 May 2010. It was directly inspired by DotA, from Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and aimed to replace it as a standalone game. Its development was done by ‘S2 Games’, and passed on to ‘Frostburn Studios’ (‘Garena’) later on.

Back in the day, HoN was what fans really wished for. An independently developed solution to DotA, so they could finally enjoy it properly. It was the only way to avoid the clumsy custom map gaming of Blizzard’s Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. It received the development it deserved, and it attended to everybody’s needs with extensive customization.

What went wrong?

The main reason why HoN decided to shut down, was due to its reception. It simply couldn’t survive with a minimal player count. This resulted in minimal revenue, which could not sustain this online game. Although HoN had a strong start, there were some lingering issues that eventually brought it to its knees. Here are 6 of them.

1. Initial price

HoN didn’t start as a free-to-play (F2P) game. It was priced at $30 (€27) when it first launched in 2010. It might not seem much compared to today’s standards, but back then, $30 meant much more to a person with access to the F2P DotA.

This was in direct contrast with League Of Legends which also launched around the same time, but without any account-creation fee. This made many players either stay in DotA until something better came along, or switch to League of Legends. Even though a year later it was decided to remove the fee, the initial reception suffered a serious blow.

2. “Free,” but not really

The problematic start persisted for quite some time, as the game would still limit the unpaid users. The developers also classified the registered accounts into three distinct categories: basic, verified, and paid (legacy):

  • The “basic” accounts could not participate in “verified” games. They could not pick any hero they wanted either. Instead, they had to wait for a weekly rotation of selections;
  • The “verified” accounts were upgraded “basic” accounts that had shown commitment to the game. You could do that by purchasing in-game hero skins, or playing a required amount of games. They still had limitations, though;
  • Paid (legacy) accounts belonged to the first players who purchased their account in 2010, and had full access to all the game’s features.

The heroes pool limitation was later dropped, as it was detrimental to the game’s popularity. However, a good number of fans were already disappointed beyond repair.

3. Lack of support

The reporting system of toxic players felt that it could use huge improvements. Bugs remained unresolved for a long time too. The developers failed to listen to the fans in all cases. The concept is simple: you have to listen to your customers. ‘S2 Games’, couldn’t grasp this message.

In 2015 things became worse, as ‘Frostburn Studios’, a ‘Garena’ owned division, acquired the rights to the game. And when they failed to successfully deliver in the South-Eastern Asian region, a huge cut on workforce took place. Consequently, this would worsen what was already bad.

4. Steep learning curve

HoN might have been similar to DotA, but its pace was much faster and less forgiving. This was by no means a beginner-friendly game. If you wanted to stand a chance against the enemy team, you would have to learn and adapt quickly. Also, there were too many customization options and the shop was confusing to many users. You’d think that the community would be helpful, but most of the time, they were judgemental.

5. Toxic community

The number one problem that plagues HoN to this day, is its toxic community.

I have never witnessed so many insufferable edge lords, in a single game. If you are new to the game or make the slightest mistakes, the “elitists” will stay idle throughout the game. Or wait 5-10 minutes until they can press the “concede” button to forfeit the game. In the meantime, they are going to chat spam all the horrible things you can imagine. Sometimes they might start screeching on their mic. You’re going to learn a lot about your mother’s sexual activities in HoN.

In the past, there was a “vote kick” button. You could use that to vote on removing toxic players from the game. Fortunately, this function was dropped. As you can imagine the elitists would abuse it by kicking you from the game for the slightest mistake.

Gaming troll
HoN troll (image by EurekAlert.com).

6. The arrival of Dota2

HoN might have gotten away with all the issues mentioned, if it wasn’t for the release of Valve’s Dota2, in 2013.

Compared to HoN, Dota2 started strong with an accurate adaptation of DotA and instantly won over it. Next-gen graphics, a superior game engine, technical support, community guidelines, and a custom workshop, were just a few elements that made it feel like the “real deal.” The community abandoned ship faster than you can imagine and this crowned Dota2 as “the king” of MOBA games.

It wasn’t a surprise when in 2016, Dota2 reached around 1,3 million concurrent players. Its daily number is about 700k compared to HoN’s rumored 3-12k players on the international client. Though HoN’s reception in South-East Asia is higher when compared to the rest of the globe, it still doesn’t compare to Dota2.

What does Garena plan to do with HoN?

Not much, from the looks of it. So far, no optimistic news has reached our ears. ‘Garena’ is mostly focused on keeping HoN’s assets for its game arsenal. It has no plans of selling them to other companies. The decision on shutting down HoN’s servers won’t change, unless something drastic happens.

Will the situation get better for the HoN fans?

Not everything is as dark as described. We mentioned that HoN is going with a “big bang”, and that’s true. Some changes aimed at bringing some joy to the faithful fans that enjoyed the game. This was directly taken from HoN’s support page on Facebook:

Permanent Events (starting from December 20, 2021 up until the end of service):
– Silver Coin multiplier for Matchmaking games increased to 10x.

Plinko Drop Rates
– Drop rates for the Diamond Chest will be permanently increased to

Regarding Gold-Coin exclusive products
– Certain products will be made available with Silver Coins. This process will be done gradually over time, at the sole discretion of Frostburn Studios (given the current circumstances).

– It is not feasible to unlock every single avatar or product, and some products cannot be made to be purchasable with Silver Coins only.

Farewell Events from December 20, 2021 to February 19, 2022

HoN’s Facebook page on 13 December 2021.

If you’d like to take part in these events, you should hurry, as account creation will be impossible after December 31, 2021.

Are you happy or sad to see HoN go?

What do you think the future holds for HoN fans?

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