From the people that worked on that mode, eventually, three different studios and games originated: Riot Games' League of Legends (LoL), Valve's Dota 2, and S2 Games' Heroes of Newerth (HoN).
Each game was heavily based on WarCraft 3's Defense of the Ancients, but each had its unique gimmicks and features that have attracted players. And while Dota 2 and LoL are still some of the most popular esports titles more than a decade later, HoN has been struggling for years to keep a steady player base, changing development studio and monetisation systems in the process.
Despite its unique features and engaging gameplay, the downfall from being one of the most popular MOBA games in history to becoming essentially a "dead" game was unstoppable, and now the studio has officially announced that they are going to pull the plug and shut down the servers in six short months.
Heroes of Newerth is officially shutting down
Frostburn Studios, the current development team behind Heroes of Newerth, announced on 13th December that they will stop supporting HoN in 2022 and that the servers will be switched off forever on 20th June 2022, more than 12 years since the game was officially released.
"We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has been on this journey, created special memories together with us, moved HoN forward and created a lot of unforgettable stories for HoN as well as made Heroes of Newerth one of the most popular MOBA games," reads the announcement, before informing the player base that the servers will cease to operate next summer.
The studio had been supporting the game regularly over the last few years, despite a decreasing player base. The game had been receiving new patches every 2-3 months, which included balance changes, bug fixes, QoL improvements and occasional cosmetics, but new heroes haven't been added for a long time.
At its peak in 2011, Heroes of Newerth had several million active players on a monthly basis but those days are long gone and will soon be a thing of the past.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.