The Taiwan based manufacturer really listened intently to what it's customers had to say. HTC learned that 90% of its customers don't care about widgets. HTC also found out that most people don't differentiate between apps and widgets. Outside of weather, clock and music widgets, only 10% of HTC's customers used any widgets at all. And while some Android users do customize their home screen when they first take possession of their smartphone, once the first month of ownership passes, 80% do not change their home screen at all.
While previous versions of Sense leaned heavily on widgets, this research conducted by HTC led to the BlinkFeed screen and this huge change. And considering that only 10% of Android users care about widgets based on the Taiwan based manufacturer's research, it wouldn't seem that HTC is taking a risk at all.
source: HTC via MobileBurn