Heroes of Newerth goes free to play

The multiplayer session-based action game Heroes of Newerth is now free to download and play. The change is designed to attract additional players and expand the HoN community. It also may be a very smart move as free-to-play games based on microtransactions are beginning to topple monthly fee payment systems.

To facilitate the changes, the game has incorporated a three-tiered player system and, initially, will keep new players and veterans in separate matchmaking, which developer S2 Games hopes to keep games balanced while the new players are learning the game.

Existing accounts will be upgraded to Legacy accounts, which offers them free and unlimited use of any of the game's heroes. New accounts will begin as Basic accounts, which will have access to a rotating selection of 15 heroes and matchmaking with other Basic level accounts.

By surpassing a certain threshold of play time or by purchasing Goblin Coins, a Basic account can be upgraded to a Verified account, which will allow players to join games with Legacy players, but won’t stop the Legacy players from making fun of them for only playing HoN after it became free.

To make money, S2 Games is hoping that players will be willing to pay for access to heroes. Basic and Standard accounts will be allowed to purchase heroes from the 15 available to them, unlocking a hero will make it available to that player anytime.

Legacy accounts will have unlimited access to any existing heroes, but new heroes will only become available to them after a waiting period. To skip the waiting period, Legacy players can purchase heroes as soon as they’re is released.

Legacy accounts can no longer be purchased, so all new players must use either Basic or Verified accounts, and no matter what they do, they will never be as cool as the Legacy players.

Jul 29, 2011


  • Person5 - August 1, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    I think its to compete with DOTA 2, because if they didn't do this, HON would be destroyed by it, LoL is still ok being free and all and a good community, but HoN, with its community of dicks, will have a harder time holding on to players who don't want to go on a killing rampage if they lose
  • Reaverx - July 31, 2011 3:24 a.m.

    PAUL RYAN! awesome
  • RedHarlow - July 30, 2011 9:45 p.m.

    Heroes of Newerth has such a bad community. Most (not everybody, but a majority) of the players are a bunch of pricks.
  • AnonymouZ - July 30, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    i dont' think they paid attention to lol, tho it is a competitor, i can't deny that. but i was thinking they're getting ready for when ERRBODY, lol and hon players migrate to STEAMS dota2 xD
  • hero2bash - July 30, 2011 2:18 p.m.

    of course it's for competition but I think the model would also help them financially and to boost popularity.
  • Bubblesauce - July 30, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    Would I be wrong in saying that this was probably done simply to compete with LoL?
  • StealthyMangos - July 30, 2011 6:25 a.m.

    exactly, they need a sort of beginner tutorial/ co-op mode for HoN. It certainly would ease the transition from casual to hardcore rts
  • HeavyTank - July 30, 2011 5:51 a.m.

    I don't think F2P will work for HoN...especially if their goal is to attract new players. See, games like TF2 and LoL are so successful in their F2P because they're very easy to pick up, but very hard to master. HoN is simply very hard to pick up, period.For starters, there's no tutorial.Anywhere. When you try to play a game you're confronted with this huge list of champions and are supposed to make an informed decision when you don't even know how the fuck you're supposed to play, and this of course ends up with you getting pummeled by the enemy team. Yes, I read that they're going to have "player tiers", but I still think that they need to work on new players learning how to play before anything else.
  • TheRandomFool - July 30, 2011 3:26 a.m.

    Well, between this, LoL, Dota, Dota 2, and that RotT thing there will be enough MOBA for everyone!
  • vintagetech - July 30, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    Just play League of Legends
  • Duffman - July 30, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    @Vordhosbn I think this method of F2P is doing the best micropayment plan I've seen so far. It's taking the League of Legends route by limiting F2P beginners to a set rotation of characters, but then gives them access to the full roster after they've either payed for it or played enough. Seems like a fair deal to me.
  • papergoon - July 30, 2011 1:32 a.m.

    i think the system of "legacy" players is really smart. It's not easy to hold on to loyal fans and this is a really good reward system. :D
  • Vordhosbn - July 30, 2011 1:18 a.m.

    Can't complain about all these games going F2P, but it might end up being too much of a good thing. I'd hate to see the microtransactions becoming a necessary part of games, as opposed to TF2 etc where time spent playing will get you largely the same rewards.

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