Developed by one of the most respected names in the gaming industry- Blizzard, Hearthstone has been around since 2014 and has received numerous updates over the years to keep it relevant. This begs the question, is Hearthstone still worth playing in 2021.
Things tend to develop white rapidly in the gaming industry, as a result, 2014 feels like eons ago. However, Blizzard built its solid reputation by developing games that are hard to get tired of playing – Take Diablo, OverWatch or World of Warcraft, for example, these titles offer players a lot of repeat playability.
Being a product of this stable and having run for this long, it seems that Hearthstone – originally subtitled “Heroes of Warcraft” – might carry the same traits. That’s beside the consistent updates as hints of how successful this game is.
What exactly is Hearthstone?
Hearthstone is another facet of the World of Warcraft, it is a free-to-play online digital collectable cards game that is available for Mobile gamers, PC and Mac OS users – essentially a direct attack on Magic The Gathering’s Dominance in the realm of fantasy-themed card games.
Hearthstone offers both single player (taking on an AI opponent) and Player-v-Player modes where each player competitor is equipped with their own deck of cards. Players are limited to 30 cards per deck and gameplay follows a turn-based structure where the objective is to destroy the opponent’s Hero.
Being that it is a free-to-play release, Ine should expect the usuals like the in-app purchases and microtransactions that you’ll inevitably find yourself in when working to upgrade your deck.
It may also be interesting to note that Hearthstone’s origin was more experimental rather than being a planned full-budget title. Nevertheless, Blizzard was able to achieve what they wanted to do with this game – to recreate the feel of a physical card game via an intuitive interface and to remove the possibility of a sneaky play from the opponent during a player’s turn.
Is it still playable in 2021 and onwards?
Over the years, Hearthstone has proven to be a successful project for Blizzard – receiving a warm welcome from the gaming community and growing into a popular e-sport. As for the question of playability in 2021 and moving forward, Blizzard has not taken Hearthstone’s success for granted and are constantly updating – with the latest one set to reach players during this December.
That said, well put together card games rarely ever suffer from longevity issues and offer an entertaining pastime for many years. However, if the numbers don’t lie, then Hearthstone might be in a bit of trouble.
According to data gathered in 2018, Blizzard could boast about Hearthstone’s more than 100 million active players across platforms that year. Fast forward to 2021 and we start to see a different picture. Intel from ActivePlayer counted a peak of just over 3,5 million active players across platforms, a massive drop from 2018 and particularly worrying because most games saw an increase due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
If the drop in player count and decreased viewership on Twitch are anything to go by, then Hearthstone might be losing its flare.