Just weeks after Blizzard cut back development on Heroes of the Storm and canned its MOBA’s esports scene, it looks as though the developer is also considering the future of Hearthstone esports tournaments. A survey sent out to Hearthstone players earlier this week asked players about their attachment to the game’s competitive scene.
Much of the survey focused on questions regarding the latest expansion, Rastakhan’s Rumble, and the overall state of the game. Towards the end, however, two questions related directly to Hearthstone esports. The first asked “how important are Blizzard sponsored Hearthstone tournaments to you?” while the second asked “if there were no Blizzard sponsored Hearthstone tournaments, how likely are you to play Hearthstone in the next 30 days?”
By themselves, those questions are fairly innocuous, but when you consider them in the context of recent Blizzard news, they may constitute a probing of the waters from the developer. Last month, Heroes of the Storm had its dev team cut back, meaning gameplay updates would occur far less frequently than before.
Meanwhile, the game’s esports scene has been almost entirely shut down. Since then, reports suggest that the company has been mandated to cut costs and ship more games.
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The Hearthstone Championship Tour, the CCG’s flagship esport competition, could be in Blizzard’s sights as an easy way to cut costs. We reached out to Blizzard for comment, and they told us that “The survey is standard practice after each expansion. This question about esports tournaments has existed for several years, and this question comes up for other titles as well. We do these surveys for most of our other games, and sometimes use similar questions.”