Blizzard not working on Hearthstone for consoles

Android takes priority. Spectator mode being designed at the moment.

The Hearthstone team at Blizzard has its hands full at the moment finishing Curse of Naxxramas and the upcoming Android version, all of which means nobody's spending any time thinking about console versions, the developer told Eurogamer last week.

"The idea of getting it onto console has come up from players," production director Jason Chayes said in a phone interview, perhaps deadpanning somewhat. "It's not something we're actually looking at right now. We feel like we have our hands full in the short term with getting onto Android as soon as we can, which is kind of one of the big priorities we're looking at right now."

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The iPad version of Hearthstone being played by a cushion.

Chayes suggested that the team may return to the idea of console versions if there is enough interest from consumers.

"What we've said in the past, and this will continue to be the case, is that we want to be able to hear back from our community and our players what they're really interested in, what they're very passionate about," he explained. "If getting Hearthstone onto console is something there's a huge interest in, then we'd love to hear about that so it's something we can be thinking about."

Converting the game to Android and polishing up Curse of Naxxramas aren't the small Hearthstone team's only priorities though. With the game now well-established on PC and Mac and recently launched on iPad - Blizzard said at the time the game had over 10 million registered accounts on computer formats - there is also work going into improving the core experience.

One common request is a spectator mode. The game has proved hugely popular on Twitch, with streamers like Trump attracting tens of thousands of simultaneous viewers around the clock, but a built-in method of observing games in progress is still something players evidently want.

"It is something we're definitely thinking about," said Chayes. "Twitch has been great, all the streamer support has been awesome and it's something that's really kind of surprised us a little bit, in terms of moving out of the beta and into release and how popular that's been, which has been incredible and awesome.

"But that said, we do think we have a bunch of unique ideas on how we can integrate a spectator mode into the game. It is actually something we're right now literally in the middle of designing and we're looking at having some more information to share on that in the coming weeks as well."

Hearthstone has been huge on Twitch, which feels like a good enough excuse to drop this video in again.

The success of letting a very small team develop a simple game has apparently already led Blizzard to push for similar small-team games internally, with rumours swirling that Overwatch may be the name of one of them, but Chayes and his colleagues have found their calling with Hearthstone and remain firmly dedicated to its future development.

"We're committed to Hearthstone for the long haul," he said. "We intend to keep coming back to this for years to come and refreshing it with new features and new content, and largely that will be driven by what we're seeing players responding to the most." That might include "new ways of play that are different, different environments, different ways to experience the game".

"I think the future is pretty wide open and we're excited about any one of the different directions Hearthstone can go," he added. "As a casual, accessible game, as an eSport, as different platform options open up. There's a lot of different room there."

To see where it's headed in the near future, check out our Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas preview.

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