By now everyone is aware that Hearthstone has been losing steam recently (a lot of people like to say that it's "dying", but I've always found that to be a bit dramatic). If you search "Hearthstone" on Google Trends, you'll see that the game has been steadily declining in relevance for the past five years, and now we see that they've been making substantially less money recently.
As one of, if not the most vocal/active Hearthstone forums on the internet, we have been discussing and complaining for years now about problems with the game and lack of features and communication from Blizzard. We are so often frustrated because we care… a lot.
I am definitely someone who has been angry about these things. I've poured a crazy amount of time into this game, as well as a decent amount of money. However, recently my mindset about the state of Hearthstone has shifted, and I think it's because I realized something: Hearthstone has served its purpose.
The way I see it, Hearthstone laid the foundation for the future of digital card games. I'm sure I'm not the only person who was playing Magic long before I started playing Hearthstone, but since Hearthstone was so accessible and I could play a game whenever I wanted, it became my main game. It was super well designed and tight. Great voicelines, board design, animations. It totally set the bar.
Magic has now come full circle, putting out Arena, which is awesome. Artifact came out and was total ass, but it was very close to being good. There are a bunch of other card games which have come out, and there are plenty more which will come out and might explode in popularity. I believe was critical in all of these games coming into existence.
Today is March 25, 2019. Some of us have been playing this game for upwards of five years now. That's a pretty long time, and the game is still going. But it won't last forever. We can still enjoy the positives that the game offers until it does eventually suffer heat death. I'm sure we'll all watch the reveal today, and we'll try out some wonky decks once the new year starts. But the core issues with the game will persist until it's over, and that's just a reality that we need to accept. No game lasts forever, and capitalism will eventually dictate moving resources out of the game.
I'm still going to play some Hearthstone, but I'm not looking at it like "This game could finally be as good as it can be if they just add X and change Y". I will enjoy the game for what it is, a fun yet flawed game which set the precedent for what a modern digital card game could be.
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