Heroes of the Storm has never had an easy road. As Blizzard’s inbred stepchild, the game has always had to claw and scrape its way forward, piggybacking on Blizzard’s more successful franchises, such as The Lost Vikings. The game took a big hit last year when its official esports league was discontinued with little notice, and Blizzard announced it would be downsizing the HotS dev team significantly. Well, it looks like the game is in dire straits yet again. Today, Blizzard announced their plan to start paying Heroes devs exclusively in apples and loaves of bread.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had to make a difficult decision here at Blizzard,” reads the official statement by CEO J. Allen Brack. “Luckily, we compensate our dedicated staff in more than just material salary. Our talented developers stay with us because of the experiences they create along the way. The Heroes of the Storm team knows this better than anyone, and even though they’ll be earning just one loaf of bread and a single apple this month, I can’t wait for what they come up with next.” According to Comparably, the average Blizzard executive makes around $220,000 a year.
“The bread… bring more! More!” screeches Laura Green, one of the affected developers. We had a difficult time reaching members of the HotS team for comment, as most of them could not be reached deep within their leaf nests in the woods behind Blizzard HQ in Irvine. However, using a half-melted Snickers from a crew member’s pocket (thanks Nathan), we did manage to lure Ms. Green out from her primitive shelter of mud and sticks. “Apple and bread so good! Must make game good too… get two apples a month!”
Most of the developers we spoke to agreed with Ms. Green, typically in dreamlike, disjointed ramblings about how they were grateful for the opportunity to work at their dream job, or at the very least, “just happy to be employed.”
It’s not easy to see the disheveled, malnourished forms of such talented staff lined up to receive their annual payment from what appears to be a 1930s-style soup kitchen. It’s clear that there’s a lot of work to be done on Heroes of the Storm before these devs can earn back their place at Blizzard, but on the bright side, it could be much worse: polls suggest that the devs only know one-fifth of the suffering experienced by people forced to actually play HotS for an exclusive Overwatch skin.
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