Over on the Blizzard US Forums a rumour has been flying around that in the Future blizzard may possibly remove character later down the line should they not fit into the current Meta Balance.
It all started with a quote from Jeff Kaplan, talking about their Character Business model.
We would leave the door open to that. I think the fact that we chose the business model we did – that the game comes with all the heroes and we’re giving you everything [extra] for free so far – allows us to retire a hero without feeling bad about it. But I think we have a long way to go before heroes will need to be.
The rumour was shot down by Jeff Kaplan, who replied to the thread on the forums with the following statement:
We don’t have any plans to retire any heroes. The interviewer asked if there was a possibility that this could ever happen and I “left the door open”. The original poster in this thread did not even link to the original article but rather to an article quoting the article in question.
We’re not even remotely thinking about retiring heroes right now or anytime in the foreseeable future.
As much as some of us would like to see this happen to certain characters, cough reaper, it at least shows that Blizzard is looking to build up a large character portfolio which will hopefully lead to some interesting plays in the future.
At the moment however, we’re all looking to the next possible character release with rumours of Sombre being the next character, and the release of Eichenwalde in the next patch.