Over the past few days, several Hearthstone players have been receiving a survey from Blizzard via email. That’s not too unusual in its own right, but — especially in light of recent events — some of the questions have people wondering if Hearthstone could be the next Blizzard game to be scaled back.
If you didn’t receive the email yourself, you can see all the survey questions here. While it’s long and covers a lot of ground, many relating to the recent Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion and its single-player Rumble Run, a couple of questions near the end have players nervous. Specifically, the questions “How important are Blizzard sponsored tournaments to you?” and “If there were no Blizzard sponsored tournaments, how likely are you to play Hearthstone in the next 30 days?” have players thinking of Heroes of the Storm and the cancellation of its esports programs late last year. Could Hearthstone be headed for a similar fate?
In general, I’d say that Hearthstone is trending downward — not “dying,” in the panic-inducing sense, but, like World of Warcraft in 2008 vs. World of Warcraft in 2018, it’s not quite the overwhelming force it once was. Blizzard is no doubt trying to make sense of it all and figure out what it’s doing right and what it’s doing wrong across all parts of Hearthstone. Lots of questions are devoted to the recent expansion, and relatively few to esports initiatives.
That said, every Blizzard fan is on edge after what happened to HotS, wondering if their favorite game could be “next.” After five years of release, you’d think that Blizzard has all the data it needs to determine if Hearthstone esports are successful and worth continuing. Or maybe the bean counters have come to the conclusion that they aren’t, from a financial standpoint, and Blizzard is trying to gauge how bad the outrage would be if they discontinued the program.
In any case, the timing of the survey couldn’t be worse, and it’s sure to induce a few rounds of panic for those who care about such things. And if you get the survey, feel free to tell them you get your news from MMOBomb.com!