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What happened to the Hero Shooter genre?

Content of the article: "What happened to the Hero Shooter genre?"

Hero shooters are online team-based PVP multiplayer game, typically with diverse characters. These games tend to have objective-based win states, cooldown abilities, Ultimates and distinct roles.

TF2 was an early pioneer in 2007. Overwatch in 2016 was very successful. It struck the right chord at the right time. With how OW's esports scene was in the first year, it seemed like this would be a big genre for years to come.

Various games tried to emerge in this genre (i.e. Evolve, Dirty Bomb, Gigantic, SMNC2, Crucible, etc.), but most or all of them flopped. Paladins is hanging on, but only barely.

Individually they each had their share of mistakes in development, which limited their true potential. But the overall pattern is that there just wasn't much demand. Many OW players weren't really into the genre; they were just into Overwatch.

We saw a similar pattern with Hearthstone. It did really well. Card games seemed like it could be a big genre, but apart from Hearthstone, it was a very niche genre. Maybe Blizzard's marketing is just king.

My theory is that the online gaming market is polarized. Hero shooters have some aspects of shooters and some traits of MOBA's, but players eventually aligned themselves with one or the other.

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Overwatch's controversy began in the introduction of non-traditional FPS heroes, and there was a split between an FPS and a somewhat MOBA-lite experience.

FPS purists disliked excessive shields and CC; felt like compositions were becoming more important than individual solo-carrying with mechanical skill. They went to Siege/CSGO/Valorant. While MOBA purists who wanted more depth and nuance in the abilities and comps; they went to League instead.

The influence of the hero shooter will have a lasting impact on gaming. Other games like Valorant and Apex are taking aspects of it, but as a genre itself, why did the Hero Shooter never take off?

Do you think this has to do with the hero shooter itself, or companies just not yet fully maximizing its potential?


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