Just in time for BlizzCon 2013, where Blizzard traditionally shows off new content and installments for their iconic franchises, Blizzard has released a small teaser video for a game that has been popping on and off the radar for the last 3 years. The teaser, animated by Carbot, marks the second re-brand of Heroes of the Storm formerly known as Blizzard All-Stars & Blizzard DotA and is the company’s first official vital sign in many years.
Blizzard’s attempt of an own interpretation of DotA made its first public appearance at BlizzCon 2010, only a few months after StarCraft II: The Wings of Liberty had been released. It was expected to be released just a few months later as part of a series of four official Blizzard mini games:
- Starjeweled: Blizzard’s own take on PopCap’s immensely popular Bejeweled.
- Left 2 Die: An enhanced co-op version of the popular WoL mission Outbreak.
- Aiur Chef: A Hidden Object Game where you have to find special ingredients scattered all over the map.
- Blizzard DotA.
Fans and press weren’t satisfied, though. What could have been good enough for a custom map wasn’t good enough for a successor of the mass phenomenon Defense of the Ancients even if that wasn’t the (official) intention of Blizzard Entertainment. The name stayed, but the map was revamped and presented again at 2011’s BlizzCon. A second release date was announced; it was supposed to come with of Heart of the Swarm, second title of the StarCraft II trilogy. Two and a half years later Heart of the Swarm hit the stores, without Blizzard DotA however, now called Blizzard All-stars after a copyright dispute with Valve in May 2012.
Heroes of the Storm: When and what?
Although not a single screenshot, character information or anything else has been released since BlizzCon 2011, we at least have a brand new trailer (which admittedly doesn’t give any impression of the new game) as well as a new name, which shares the same abbreviation of the game it was supposed to be released with.
This has everyone anxiously awaiting Friday, November 8th, when Blizzard is aiming to share the core game mechanics, hero rosters and reward systems during the Heroes of the Storm Panel at BlizzCon’s mainstage.
The question on everyone’s mind will certainly be: When will it be released? While it is safe to assume that this question will not be answered on a concrete date, we can expect a closed beta in the near future. Blizzard has officially shown regret for the huge timeframe between announcement and release of Diablo 3 and Heart of the Swam and admitted that they should have kept the gap between release and beta smaller. First proof of them putting this thinking into practice is Hearthstone. Announced at Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013, the game is currently in closed beta and is expected to be released this year.
Keeping this in mind and, more importantly, the high expectations Blizzard has set for itself through the long waiting time, Christmas could come early for MOBA fans.