The delay of the iOS and Android versions of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft isn’t a surprise because Blizzard Entertainment is the developer, but because of the aforementioned platform. I’ve had numerous discussions with Hearthstone aficionados on the merits of creating a mobile app for a title that was designed as a PC/Tablet game. Few promoted the incredibly popular card game heading to mobile devices. And no, it wasn’t because they feared losing all their free time (to frustration) and Naxxramas heroics.
Complexity of developing for Android’s myriad of screen sizes and device strength aside, the game is simply too complex for such small screens. I’m not referring to gameplay complex, that title goes to Magic the Gather 2015, but the basic needs of viewing card abilities, seeing your entire hand, secrets, the game log easily and seamlessly. I’ve no doubt that Blizzard could make mobile Hearthstone happen. But the experience, the ease-of-use and intuitive interface that are such necessities for the casual market, will be incredibly mutated, nerfed if you will.
Despite the developer’s intentions to get the Android app out by the end of the year, I hope those editions are simply canned like Project Titan and rolled into a new or existing product. Blizzard openly admits that recreating the Hearthstone feel is not only important, but incredibly difficult on these smaller platforms.
“One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand.”
Phablet aside, if there’s any developer that I would bank on nailing this it’d be Blizzard. Still, I can’t imagine it’s something I will want to play when I already have a PC client and an iPad edition. Let alone throwing in the hell that is gaming on a 4G LTE connection.