Heroes of the Storm has the player and fanbase to be sustainable, however it wasn't earning a profit. Why not?
Here are a few things:
1: Monetization system was built for a paid game, not a f2p. This system works in Overwatch because Overwatch players need to buy the game, so Blizzard is guaranteed profit. With no real money sinks in the game, the whales have no way of supporting the game other than for loot chests which after a while, lose their value.
I know many players with thousands of games played that haven't spent any money on the game. I don't know any League of Legends or Smite players who can say the same. This is because everything cosmetic in the game can be earned through gameplay, and other than boosts (which can also be earned in loot chests by the way), there is no incentive to buy anything.
2: Player Retention is weak. As a Master+ player every season who has a relatively full friends list, I find myself having to purge my friends list every once in a while due to having space filled by players who haven't touched the game in months to a year. There is simply no reason to continue playing this game other than for fun. This is also an issue in Overwatch, but Overwatch players are guaranteed to spend money on the game, unlike HotS players.
The best player retention in free to play games belongs to Fortnite with their Season Pass. For those unaware, it's a seasonal purchase that allows you to earn cosmetic items through play time and completing quests, kind of like the current Board Game event. Imagine having the Board Game event stay around all year long, but be a purchase in order to play for a season. Obviously unappealing at first, but it will definitely make Blizzard some cash and get players to feel the need to continue playing in order to get their money's worth.
3: Negative Community Leaders is my final reason for the game's downfall. Professional players and streamers constantly complain about matchmaking and gameplay, and the fanbase follows them, resulting in a negative atmosphere. Matchmaking ISN'T broken. It was a while ago with rainbow games, but there haven't been any for a few seasons now. This negativity from professional players and streamers trickles down to their fans which spreads across the playerbase, resulting in people not wanting to play the game because they believe it's broken when it is not.
How would I change the game to be more sustainable?
– More Gold Cosmetics. This makes players spend their gold and end up having to use gems if they want to get a hero.
– Season Pass. This is a proven monetization method for free to play multiplayer. It promotes player retention and also player investment.
– No more Boosts in Loot Chests. Provide 1 day or 1 game boosts as quest rewards to give players a taste of the bonus xp and gold.
– Allow all skins to be purchased with Gems, and remove shards from the game, with duplicate items being removed as well. Or, allow shards to be purchased with Gems.
– Promote positive streamers that don't make matchmaking and gameplay complaints.
© Post "The Reasons for the Game’s Downfall, How it Can be Turned Around" for game Heroes of the Storm.
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