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Friday, July 29, 2011

Heroes of Newerth: Now Free to Play!

It is not surprising to me that today, S2 Games has turned Heroes of Newerth into a free-to-play game because the only way that it could compete with the more popular League of Legends is to copy Riot Games' business model. It all started with the introduction of "Casual Mode" that mimics the battle rules of LoL and the in-game store that sells vanity items. Now, new players can create their HoN accounts for free but they will only have access to a limited number of heroes until they have unlocked the heroes permanently by earning coins via playing the game or buying the coins with real money. Yes, it all works just like LoL. What does this mean to those who have paid for the game like me? Well, our accounts has been turned into "Legacy" accounts and we are not limited in the game-types we can participate in and and we will always get the new heroes once they are no longer being featured as "early access" heroes.

HoN is a great game. I just don't like the community.

I think that this is a very smart move by S2 Games: I can't blame them for making the game "free-to-play" - since I am not going to create a new account, I cannot confirm that this game is TRULY free to play like LoL. This sudden change in business model will entice more people to try out the game and hopefully, we will see an influx of friendlier players to balance out the large amount of ragers found here. If I ever had the chance to choose paying a one-time fee of $29.99 to gain full access of the game or work myself through the free-to-play system, I would chose the latter of course but since I am playing LoL a lot more, it's great that I don't have to work hard unlocking champions in HoN. To ensure that they are going to get a lot of money from the transition, S2 Games is not selling "Legacy" accounts to new players so if they are impatient about getting their heroes, they will need to spend some money. Overall, I am okay with how this transition impacted my account but I can see why some people feel betrayed by S2 Games. But what does this whole thing mean? It means that Riot Games has truly made it with LoL. Click here to create your free account to play HoN or click here to do the same for LoL.

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