Now that Blizzard has successfully ported Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to enough platforms that nearly anyone who wants to play the game can, it has shifted its attention to the upcoming Heroes of the Storm.
While a fair number of players have been enjoying Heroes of the Storm since early last year, they have either been playing the technical alpha or, later, the closed beta of the game. Now Blizzard has announced a release date for the free-to-play team brawler: June 2.
Before the game officially launches, there will be a short open beta period, which starts on May 19. The build-up to the game’s launch will conclude on June 1, when Blizzard will hold a live-streamed event in London celebrating Heroes of the Storm’s release.
Heroes of the Storm takes characters from Blizzard’s various franchises — StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo, as well as lesser-known games — and pits them in five-on-five team battles in “the Nexus,” which depicts familiar locations from the various games blended together. The similarity to games like Dota 2 and League of Legends is hard to miss, though the complexity is significantly reduced, and Blizzard has made a point of avoiding the “MOBA” (multiplayer online battle arena) label.
“With its focus on team play and fast-paced fun, Heroes of the Storm is a fresh take on a very popular genre,” Blizzard CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime said in the press release announcing the launch. “We’ve built Heroes of the Storm in a way that makes it accessible to new players, but also challenging enough for veterans who really want to put their skills to the test. We can’t wait to see what Heroes brings to the co-op and competitive scenes once the Nexus opens up to everyone.”
At launch, the game will feature seven battlegrounds and more than 30 playable characters. Characters can be unlocked either by playing the game or by being purchased, though certain cosmetic upgrades can only be unlocked by paying for them. More characters and battlegrounds will continue to be added after the game’s launch.
For a better look at what’s coming in Heroes of the Storm, check out the trailer below. See the game’s official site for more information.