In the Harry Potter series, there’s a moment when Harry realizes that it could have been his classmate, Neville Longbottom, who was destined for greatness instead of him. Lord Voldemort knew that his downfall would be a child born around the end of July, and both Harry and Neville fit the bill. He decided to visit Harry’s house first, which set into motion the chain of events that resonate throughout the books and movies. If he’d visited Neville’s house first, we might have had a different hero.
We don’t think an evil wizard had anything to do with the fortunes of MOBAs. Still, it’s interesting to note that both League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth were initially available to the public at about the same time: League’s closed beta started on April 10, 2009, while Newerth’s began just two weeks later, on April 24. Of course, LoL went on to become a mega-hit, while HoN, despite some initial success, fell behind not only LoL but later MOBAs, like Dota 2 and Smite. In another universe, things might have been different.
In this universe, however, Heroes of Newerth has almost reached the end of the line. Developer S2 Games announced today that the game will receive its “final patch that contains major content and major changes” on Feb. 26, and any future patches will “generally consist of a small amount of balance changes and/or bugfixes, if they are deemed necessary.” In other words, HoN has gone into maintenance mode.
You can read the full patch notes on the HoN forums, and they’re pretty extensive. That’s understandable, considering that this represents the end of the game’s active development, and the dev team probably wants to make sure it crams in as much as possible before they’re moved on to other projects. If they’re lucky, Voldemort won’t curse whatever they’re working on next.