The evolution of Heroes of Newerth's business model has taken another step. It launched as a regular paid game in May 2010, then in July 2011 switched to a free-to-play model where players could only use a small rotating selection of heroes, and had to pay for others. From today, everyone will be able to play every character, all the time.
It's a very sensible move, considering Valve's Dota 2 is nearing on the horizon. Both games are essentially new versions of the original Warcraft III mod DotA, though HoN is exploring new territory, and Valve has far more clout. If S2 Games had tried to compete for a similar playerbase with a less friendly business model, it wouldn't end well.
To calm people who've previously payed for heroes, S2 is refunding anyone who's bought a hero within the past 15 days, whether with real-world or in-game money. Anyone who's bought a hero with real-world cash ever will get an exclusive Mecha Gemini avatar too, and they'll also receive more rewards for playing matches.
Find more details on the HoN forums and look, a video: