People tend to forget that DotA thrived for years despite having, well. Maybe 6 heroes a year, and optimistically just as many items added.
Didn’t hear anyone crying about lack of new stuff in that case…
Maybe that is because it was known it was just Icefrog and friends/etc. working on the game.
But, even today the new content added to DotA (based on a quick skim of their patch notes) is less than Heroes has received.
A quick look at League of Legends… Same story recently.
HotS has been receiving more additional content (which, in part, is due to having to catch up! (I would argue now that the Hero pool is large enough that the difference in absolute numbers between games isn’t a big deal)).
Hell, LoL got a 3 new Champions this year. Dead game? No.
IT IS NOT GOOD. It is NOT good, that we’re going to be getting less new Heroes, and presumably fewer battlegrounds. Well, we’re fine on battlegrounds I think. I don’t see a huge issue with not getting as many. But more heroes are always welcome.
I personally believe (perhaps falsely) that balance update frequency will not change, so I don’t see the issue as being “devastating”. It’s not good, it’s bad. But it really isn’t terrible. (Now, the terrible treatment of people involved with HGC… that was terrible. Please, keep on blasting Activision-Blizzard for that. Could have at least said “we’ll give teams salaries for the first 3 months of the year” given how abrupt the knifing of HGC was. or something like that. To help them move on to new jobs/work.)
The game will likely still get about as much content as the larger DotA2 and LoL… except that it needs something to give it an “edge” over them. IMO.