About three months ago, I played Magic: Legends, and walked away with this impression:
At the same time, it feels like a colossal disaster in progress. Pushing buttons isn’t fun, the loot isn’t fun, and the monetization strategy isn’t fun. How much can realistically change in Open beta? If the answer isn’t “the whole damn thing” then Cryptic is in trouble.
Well, Cryptic eventually came to the same conclusion and is shutting down the game in October. Which is the correct move, although highly embarrassing. How many times has a game gotten all the way to Open Beta and then just shut down?
Our vision for Magic: Legends missed the mark, but we are proud of what we achieved. Thanks to Wizards of the Coast, we got to bring the expansive Magic: The Gathering Multiverse to a wide audience and explore new angles within the established ARPG genre. We learned several valuable lessons along the way, and we will use them to improve Cryptic’s future development efforts.
Sure, I guess it’s good in the scientific sense to “explore new angles” and determine what doesn’t work. But next time? You know… just ask. I’m available at a very reasonable rate. I played that shit for 10 minutes and almost noped myself out of there right then. You can’t have an ARPG where what buttons 1-4 do is randomly switched from moment to moment. I want to see the dev who deliberately designed it that way and went “Yep, I want to play like this for the next 200 hours.”
While this came as somewhat of a shock, it was not due to any sort of issue with Hearthstone itself. Indeed, as Wilhelm points out, Hearthstone is the only Blizzard game still on the Top 10 PC revenue list (per SuperData). The issue appears to be a “strategic” change by the owners, e.g Curse / Fandom:
Fandom/Curse employee throwaway account here.
It’s a decision from higher ups/Perkins Miller (new CEO from Stubhub) to focus the company on the Wikis and D&D Beyond because money. They want the community to move to the gamepedia wiki, they’re the same sites in their head (source)
The spiritual successor site is… OutOf.Cards. As in, Out of dot Cards. Not wanting to be pigeonholed into just Hearthstone is fine, but… “dot Cards?” I guess…
There are probably much better Hearthstone content sites out in the world even before HearthPwn’s closure, but this sort of thing still brings me pause. We are constantly told that “the internet is forever,” but that’s not quite as true as it seems. Sites close all the time, for sometimes entirely random reasons, and while they might still technically exist like my first-ever Angelfire website created over 15 years ago, information often has an expiration date.
Watching it expire right in front of you though, is… uncomfortable.