Hearthstone is a popular game designed, produced and published by Blizzard entertainment in an attempt to bring back the nostalgia of card games like Magic the Gathering onto a digital, competitive platform. Unfortunately for Blizzard and their ridiculous, vain pursuit of micro payment systems that have been nothing but vilified by the greater gaming community, they have only served to cause players to recognize how the game is now ‘pay-to-win’ due to the power creepy that’s present. There are even cheats and hacks available for the game here at http://hearthstonecheats.com if you’re the kind of person who would much rather cheat at the game. At this point in the game’s evolution I’d be tempted to suggest that a player who is not paying for decks and cards would have to ‘cheat’ in order to remain competitive with the players who are paying. To me, that’s on the same level as cheating. Just because a design of a game includes microtransaction doesn’t make it correct.
Of all the game design and publishing companies out there right now it would have to be Blizzard that has the most financial potential to create a microtransaction game that doesn’t have this sort of pay-for-power-creep. I’ve long been a fan of Blizzard’s games; the first StarCraft sucked away my soul back in middle school. To see the state of some of their games now is akin to experiencing despair for the gaming industry in its entirety. As one of the monoliths of gaming their actions can resonate throughout the entire gaming community. They can be seen as something as a role model and the design they have made for Hearthstone may be taken up by other studios. Microtransactions have their place but when those transactions can define whether a player wins or loses a match they’ve become a serious problem needing to be addressed.