Few people would welcome a price increase when it comes to their favorite video game. That much is apparent after bearing witness to the reactions from the Hearthstone community when Blizzard announced that various goodies like Card Packs, Arena Tickets and Adventures in the digital collectible cardgame were about to get more expensive in Europe.
The changes in #Hearthstone prices are small in most currencies (unless you're paying in British pounds or Hungarian Forints, in which case you'll discover quite the price hike) but noticeable in any case. They probably won’t break anyone’s bank by themselves, but the symbolic value seems strong and might just be enough to turn more than a few people away from the popular game. That’s at least the impression you get reading comments from Reddit and news sites.
Vague Reason Fuels The Dismay
According to Blizzard, the changes are happening to ”align with local and regional market conditions”, a reason that many players seem find somewhat vague and inconsistent, as similar price increases aren’t happening in other Blizzard games like Overwatch, Starcraft 2 or World of Warcraft.
As always, the internet has been merciless in their judgement of the decision that has been called everything from ”extremely greedy” to ”business 101”. Let’s take a closer look at the some of the different reactions.
The Mad Ones
First and foremost there are of course people who're just upset about the fact that their favorite game is going to cost more to play regularly. For Hearthpwn user frootshoot2, that means a reluctant goodbye to Hearthstone and a hello to other CCGs:
For others, the new price increase was just what was needed to put an end to their card game addiction:
But at least they're not from Hungary, where the increase seems to have hit the hardest:
The Voices Of Reason
While most people on Hearthpwn, Reddit and various other message boards and news sites seem to be mad about the coming changes, there are also those that find them understandable. They explain the price increase as a natural progression of the business that is Hearthstone .
Or said in even shorter terrms:
And SilentStormG was even more level-headed on Hearthpwn, suggesting the best way to combat Blizzard's assumed greed was to do something active instead of complaining:
And The Sarcastic Ones
And as with any message board or thread on the internet, there have also been a couple of creative trolls leaving sarcrastic remarks about Blizzard's business model. Mikwits sums it up with beautiful simplicity:
While Kripparian, the world's most popular Hearthstone streamer scornfully comments on the price increase with these strong words:
Because if they did that, as Hearthpwn user ExodiaHS keenly observed, Ben Brode, Hearhstone's game director, wouldn't be able to afford a car like this one:
Weird Timing To Price Differently
Whether or not the new prices will have an actual effect on the number of people who play Hearthstone is hard to tell. At least until we get the official, updated numbers on how many actually play the game (last time we checked it was around 50 million). Even then, it's hard to say if a drop has happened because of the changes in price or the fact that the game is getting a bit old.
With the new expansion Journey to Un'Goro being less than a month away the timing seems a bit weird, especially because the game isn't exactly in a very popular spot right now when it comes to balance. Everyone agrees on that, from pro players to rank 21 newcomers.
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It's almost as if Blizzard wants to get in on the card-buying action happening around the expansion's release, squeezing out some extra money through the higher pricing and disregarding the fact that their actual product isn't as good as it has been. Which seems a bit calculated and cynical.
You'll have to decide for yourself whether you think Hearthstone is still worth paying for. The new shop prices will take effect on March 22.
What do you think about Blizzard raising the prices on Hearthstone goodies in Europe?
[All comments taken from Hearthpwn and Reddit]