Nothing lasts forever. Father Time is undefeated. Your preferred cliche here to explain the passing of time and impermanence of everything. I mean, I’m even going through another one of my “do I really want to spend all of this money on cards (real or virtual) anymore?” phases. This one feels different, though. Nevertheless, I come to praise and not bury on this the possible Even of the death of Hearthstone.
At times in the past, I’d bury Hearthstone and happily so. Either I grew up, or it became less annoying, or both, because I actually feel melancholy about the possible demise of the old lady. Between rewards tracks and actual enjoyment of Battlegrounds, if the game dies, that puts quite the hole in my daily rotation of games. Whatever will I do? Perhaps update the YouTube page more consistently?
Why the Funeral?
I originally planned this article as an update to the game. The last time I visited Hearthstone, I wrote a quick article comparing the new expansion to the new MTG expansion. Not even a full set of articles for the game and that expansion. And, to be honest, not much has changed. They released a mini set, but there are no other expansions planned right now and their “Year of” update normally gaining steam right now is nowhere to be found.
The company just experienced massive layoffs at the hands of their new owners, Microsoft. Wizards, too, but for some reason Magic the Gathering still looks strong right now. Hearthstone, not so much. Hell, I even typed “Is Hearthstone Dead” into Google to try to confirm my suspicions. No confirmation, but the drums are beating louder if Reddit is any indication.
Esports, on the other hand…
In this case, I will take a victory lap. Call it dancing on the corpses of the content creators and influencers, if you must. If so, please make sure that you call it the sour grapes that it definitely is. Chris and I never believed in the whole esports scene and we are repeatedly being proved right on that front. It’s different to watch Lebron James or Patrick Mahomes do great things and know that you never could. It’s entirely different to watch some rando sling cards and know that, with a little bit of practice, you could pretty much do the same. Apparently, Blizzard stuck a knife in the side of their Hearthstone esports scene and nearly everyone agrees that’s over.
I may be premature in naming the death of Hearthstone. I mean, people still play Doom on a semi regular basis 30 years ago. Even if the game does stop getting support completely from Blizzard, people will still play and they might even pick up the mantle to keep the game going. That’s what seems to happen to the games that I play. They get sold to another company who keeps it afloat for a few years. I guess we’ll truly see in a couple of months when it’s time for the new “year” in Hearthstone.