Late in 2017, there were rumours that Blizzard would port HearthStone to Nintendo Switch.
The rumours came via Reddit and user DasVergeben who was behind other leaks including;
- Injustice 2’s “Fighter Pack 3”
- Pokémon launching for Nintendo Switch in 2018
- Metroid Prime 4 in development at Bandai Namco
- A Netflix/Xbox Games Pass style Virtual Console
- The World Ends With You 2 coming exclusively to Switch from Square Enix
HearthStone Nintendo Switch Edition
Speaking with Game Designer Dean Ayala about HearthStone and the “Kobolds and Catacombs” expansion we asked point blank about HearthStone on Nintendo Switch.
PowerUp! – There are rumours that Hearthstone’s going to make its way around to Nintendo Switch. Is there anything you can tell me about that?
Dean Ayala – There are no plans to move HearthStone to the Nintendo Switch.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
There is a chance that Ayala simply couldn’t announce anything or give us any details, but we’re of the opinion that it’s just not coming to Switch.
Why HearthStone Nintendo Switch doesn’t make sense
The reasons we’re willing to believe Ayala is that HearthStone Nintendo Switch doesn’t make very much sense.
HearthStone is an online-only game and while that would work when the Switch is docked, using the Switch in handheld mode, you’re more likely to be away from an internet connection.
HearthStone also works best with a mouse or touch controls. Again, the Switch has the correct control scheme, but only when in handheld mode. When using the Joy-Cons or Pro Controller in docked mode, you have less fine control and HearthStone is less enjoyable.
Additionally, neither the PS4 or Xbox One has received a port of HearthStone and this is likely due in part to the control scheme.
The biggest reason that HearthStone Nintendo Switch is unlikely due to needing to draw on an existing player base. HearthStone has over 50 million players across Android, iOS and PC. Any release on a console would be unlikely to be able to include these players without agreement from all parties.
Cross-platform play is only just starting to be introduced with titles like Minecraft and Rocket League. Cross-platform play for HearthStone Nintendo Switch isn’t impossible but it’s an issue.
That issue when paired with the control scheme and always-online requirement is probably part of the overall decision not to bring HearthStone to Nintendo Switch.
HearthStone is available for Android, iOS and PC. It’s not available for Nintendo Switch.