It's an understatement to say it hasn't been a good week for Blizzard Entertainment. The continuing controversy surrounding last week's lawsuit from the state of California has put a dark cloud over this latest Hearthstone expansion reveal. It's not lost on the development team, so while the show must go on, members of the team have come forward and spoken out about the current situation.
"Our focus has been on supporting each other and planning action for how we can make our work a better place for everyone. Something we've clearly failed at in the past." long-time Hearthstone Game Designer Dean Ayala said on r/Hearthstone (via Hearthpwn). "Having any celebration is a hard sell right now. I can assure you the only hesitation we have with moving forward with things like streams or card reveals is out of the respect for our co-workers. This is an incredibly important time to reflect and make sure we chart the best path forward. There is no gag order, no legal team telling us what we can and can't say. Our focus is simply on each other right now. All that said, we still care about our work and are still passionate about delivering a great game. It's the whole reason most of us are here in the first place. We don't have plans to delay our launch or push back further developments. We are just taking time to make sure we get this moment right."
Associate Game Designer Cora Georgiou, who spoke with Shacknews about the United in Stormwind expansion prior to the lawsuit filing, also chimed in on Twitter. "Please understand that we're also confused and disappointed right now," she said. "This is not how anybody wanted this reveal season to go, but there are more important things that need to take priority. As for communication, there are some things that it isn't my place to say publicly."
While it hasn't been greatly publicized as part of the development team's efforts to read the room, Hearthstone's 21.0 patch did indeed drop today, delivering a new Battlegrounds hero (Galewing) and some balance changes to the game's Duels mode. Plus, the new single-player Book of Heroes: Illidan adventure is set to release on August 10. More information on today's patch can be found on the Hearthstone website.
Hearthstone's United in Stormwind expansion is still set to release on August 3, even as card reveals were done in a much quieter manner this time around. The continuing ramifications from last week's lawsuit continue to be felt, as well. Shacknews will keep watching for the latest updates, particularly regarding what happens next for Activision Blizzard.