Porting Hearthstone to the Nintendo Switch is a “discussion worth having” according to at least one Blizzard designer. Principal game designer for Hearthstone Mike Donais spoke briefly on the subject in an interview recently. While Blizzard’s made clear in recent months that there’s no officially announced plans to bring Hearthstone to Nintendo’s new console, the platform’s launch success might have changed things. Donais, speaking for himself, agrees.
For Donais, however, it’s less about the Nintendo Switch’s success than it is about what just makes sense. He notes that Hearthstone is already available on both iPads, or tablets, and phones. Why wouldn’t Hearthstone on the Nintendo Switch also work? Of course, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have cellular network connectivity for playing on the go and who knows how a complicated online game would work with Nintendo’s new online services. Nevetheless, Hearthstone just makes sense on mobile platforms.
It has to be said, however, that Donais is a Hearthstone gameplay designer. His priority is designing cards, not the business decisions that determine what platforms Hearthstone does or doesn’t get ported to. Donais acknowledges as much, admitting he hasn’t been a part of any meeting where the Nintendo Switch has been brought up.
Perhaps the greatest roadblock for Hearthstone to be released on the Nintendo Switch is Blizzard’s unwillingness to launch the competitive card game on any console whatsoever. Neither PlayStation nor Xbox have been able to port Hearthstone to their consoles, which says a lot considering how popular both consoles are. It wouldn’t be difficult to argue that Hearthstone would likely be more successful on PlayStation 4.
However, if Nintendo could figure out how to persuade Blizzard to port Hearthstone to the Nintendo Switch it would be a hugely impressive deal. Not only would it show the Switch could pull in third parties, but it’d also be immediate evidence of the platform’s online service capabilities. Both areas remain dubious for the platform, currently. Not to mention Hearthstone’s just a great game in general. Let’s all hope Blizzard moves forward with those discussions.
Hearthstone is currently available on PC as well as iOS and Android devices, free-to-play.