It is the year 2010. Defense of the Ancients is busy inventing a new genre of video games – multiplayer online battle arenas. The genre had begun to grow saturated, with new Dota clones popping up every so often and clamouring to be the next big phenomenon only to fall by the wayside. Now, more than a decade later, one of the oldest known modern MOBAs has permanently bitten the dust.
Heroes of Newerth, most famously known as a direct competitor to League of Legends, has officially shut down as of 20 June 2022. Its closure was initially announced back in December 2021 in a Facebook update from developer Frostburn Studios. Since then, it has stopped the purchase of Gold Coins and the creation of new accounts, as well as showered its remaining players with farewell gifts and events.
The HoN closed beta was first launched in 2009, before being officially released in May of 2010 – around half a year after League launched. In the span of that year, it had garnered over 3 million players, and seemed like it could be a serious contender in the MOBA scene. A year later in 2011, the game adopted a free-to-play model much like League’s, before allowing access to all heroes completely free in 2012.
Despite these changes, nothing could save the game from becoming overshadowed by giants League of Legends and DotA. Even the game’s fanbase, which was known for being exceptionally toxic, seemed to have moved on to greener pastures. In HoN’s final moments, its official forums and the rest of the internet have been filled with remaining and past fans leaving their final tributes to the once-flourishing game.
Today is the day.
Farewell Heroes of Newerth ???? pic.twitter.com/yGy9LHFlWU
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) June 20, 2022
Heard Heroes of Newerth servers are going down today, so much memories with the game, sad to see it go away forever. RIP. pic.twitter.com/kt9KFZlaVu
— Jun Kang (@TL_Dodo) June 20, 2022
Tonight @heroesofnewerth officially shuts down their servers. This game changed my life and I am forever grateful for the opportunities it created for me. Thank you ❤️
— Peterpandam ⌐◨-◨ (@Peterpandam) June 20, 2022
Heroes of Newerth was the first MOBA I really got into. Was never much of a Dota player, but HoN's fun atmosphere and quality of life on launch resulted in thousands of fun hours with childhood friends.
Still in touch with HoNcast community members to this day. Thank you, S2. https://t.co/u2aveMWMgA
— Jonathan Snowden (@Reinforce) June 20, 2022
After its decade-long run, this classic MOBA has gone gentle into that good night.