Hearthstone is a juggernaut of a digital collectible card game. It has found a home on both PC and mobile devices, so one would assume it would eventually find its way onto the latest portable craze, the Nintendo Switch. Sadly, this is not to be, at least for the time being.
According to the news site PowerUp!, reddit user DasVergeben started a rumor that Blizzard was trying to bring Hearthstone over to the Nintendo Switch. The site, seeking confirmation, contacted Hearthstone game designer Dean Ayala, who made the following statement:
“There are no plans to move Hearthstone to the Nintendo Switch.”
A fairly straightforward answer. Had the game transitioned over to the Switch, it would have marked Hearthstone’s first foray into console gaming. But, as PowerUp! points out, numerous issues would have gotten in the way of a successful Switch release had the rumor turned out to be true. Hearthstone requires a constant internet connection, something that isn’t always reliable when the console is undocked (mobile devices don’t have this problem because they can connect via a user’s data plan). Moreover, the game relies on two control schemes: touchscreen and mouse controls. While an undocked Nintendo Switch would have been able to use touchscreen controls, the aforementioned internet connection issues would have cropped up. Meanwhile, a docked Switch would not necessarily run into connection problems but would have to rely on Joy-Con controllers, which offer less precise control.
However, the biggest obstacle would have been cross-platform play. Hearthstone is one of the few games that let any gamer play against another player regardless of platform. PC players can play with iOS players; iOS owners can duel Android gamers, and so on. Adding a whole new version of the game and ensuring that all the existing versions could effectively communicate with it, and vice versa, would have been a chore. Not an impossible one, but a difficult one nonetheless.
While Ayala’s statement does not rule out the possibility of a Nintendo Switch port of Hearthstone, we shouldn’t expect one for the foreseeable future.