By now, Blizzard‘s relationship with video game cancellation is about as well-documented as the Horde’s revolving door history with leadership. StarCraft Ghost, Project Titan, an unnamed StarCraft FPS, and Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans are cancelled games we know about. I would not be surprised if the actual list is much longer, but now we can add what would have been Hearthstone VR to the list. Kinda
During an interview with PowerUp!‘s Leo Stevenson, Lead Effects Artist Hadidjah Chamberlain revealed that Blizzard once humored the idea of a VR version of Hearthstone. The game was created by two developers during Blizzard’s annual Free Your Mind event (a “hackathon” where developers collaborate on wild projects). After two weeks in development, the final prototype let participants explore The Tavern and throw cards at a table to play a rousing game of Hearthstone.
However, the best part about the prototype was you could flip the table over. Something tells me that would have been the preferred tactic of most players had the game been finished, but that’s as far as the project got.
During the same interview, Principle Narrative Designer Dave Kosak stated that, while he thinks the concept of Hearthstone VR is very cool (preaching to the choir there, Kosak), he believes players ultimately prefer to just play the game by swiping fingers on a tablet or smartphone. Moreover, he told Stevenson that he didn’t want to discuss the prototype because “everyone would want to see it.”
Kosak’s fears are not unfounded because I would pay good money to see recorded footage of the prototype in action, and I don’t think I’m alone. Even if it’s just thirty seconds, I would pay top dollar for that video.
Now that news of this cancelled game is on the Internet, it will likely gain a ton of attention, and even if Blizzard never gives the idea a second thought, odds are better than good fans will create their own Hearthstone VR experience. My money is on them using VR Chat; after all, someone already used that game to create a working version of the holographic card battles from Yu-Gi-Oh!