Computer card games remain both popular and successful, at least with Blizzard at the helm. Hearthstone remains a high-ranking digital card game featuring characters and elements from the Warcraft universe. It has a huge community of dedicated and competitive players. And all those fans are soon to feel the sting of the game’s newly added monetization. While it was at one point feasible to earn rewards simply by playing the game well, players will now have to pay their way to new content.
The Hearthstone Monetization Controversy
Blizzard has built an empire on a number of IPs, with star franchise Warcraft being spinning off into other games like Hearthstone. This digital trading card game and enchanted both veterans and newcomers to the Warcraft universe. What made it most appealing is that players could fight their way to the top with skilled playing, earning in-game rewards. But that’s no longer the case. Going forward, the new monetization system will force players to pay if they want the latest additions. With the financial success of Diablo Immortal built almost entirely around monetization, it’s likely Blizzard will be making more of these decisions in the future, further taking advantage of their most dedicated players.
Like many TCGs, Hearthstone has easy-to-learn-but-hard-to-master gameplay. Players go into matches with their own customized decks to outsmart and overpower opponents. These cards take the forms of characters, creatures, items, abilities, and more, all based on Warcraft lore with the stylistic artwork to give it some fantastical flair. Through victory and consistent activity, players could earn more cards or gold to buy cards which they could use to enhance their decks. Now with monetization, not only is skill devalued, but players will be able to build monstrous decks simply by paying up front.
Hearthstone remains one of the most well-played digital TCGs out there, but Blizzard has slighted a huge number of players with the decision to implement monetization. Players who love the game will feel obligated to pay simply to keep up with a game to which they’ve already given so much of their time.