Blizzard released a “fireside chat” to update their 20 million Hearthstone players about the status of porting the game over to iPhone and Android devices, among other things. Currently the game is available on PC and has already been ported to the iPad, but Apple’s smaller devices as well as the entirety of Android have been left waiting until now. Android tablets are expected before the end of this year, with iPhones and Android phones coming early 2015. Don’t get too excited, as this is Blizzard and it could very well get pushed back again, but a confirmation that the ports are potentially so close to being done is encouraging.
Throughout the past year, many of you have been asking about the release date for Hearthstone on Android. The team has been hard at work to bring Hearthstone to that platform, and is making great progress. We’re taking things one step at a time and we’ve got our sights set on a release for Android tablets, our next new platform, before the end of the year; we’ve just got a few more mana crystals to polish and some Angry Chickens to chase down.
The obvious biggest hurdle is the UI. Even on the 9.7″ screen of an iPad, the game starts to feel a little cluttered as you are clicking and dragging between attacks. Other than that, the game is great on non-PC devices, and the transisition from mouse to greasy finger sliding is seamless. But it’s going to need a definite overhaul for smaller devices, especially when you get into Android phones and their endless list of devices and sizes. Even a transition to Android tablets, which seem like the easier of the devices to port to, is going to require a design that can be usable on everything from a 7″ Nexus 7 screen to a mosnter 20″ nabi tablet.
This challenge is one that Blizzard acknowledges as a big reason for the delay.
Releasing Hearthstone on iPhone and Android phones is something we’re incredibly excited about, but ultimately we’d rather take the extra time to make Hearthstone’s user interface on the phone customized to feel great for the platform, rather than a port that doesn’t taken into account the limitations of a smaller screen.
Blizzard seems hesitant to call these solid release dates and, as anyone who spent a decade waiting for a sequel to Diablo II knows, the company likes to take their time. What we are going to get whenever it comes out is hopefully going to be a very polished and workable card game, instead of a rushed mess.Source: Blizzard