Hearthstone is a free-to-play card game staged in Blizzard’s Warcraft-verse that arrived for Windows and OS X earlier this month, March 11. It’s also been in the offing for iOS and Android devices, which is where you’d think any sort of card game would work best, but all Blizzard said last fall was that we’d see the latter versions sometime during the second half of 2014, i.e. sometime between July and December.
But as of last night, Blizzard says the game is officially available for Apple’s iPad (though not the iPhone, nor Android devices). The only catch: you have to live in Canada, Australia or New Zealand, since that’s all Blizzard’s supporting for now. The company says the “rest of the world” will see the iPad version “soon.” (Since Hearthstone is Battle.net-based and thus online-angled, I assume the staggered rollout is just Blizzard doing server capacity due diligence.)
Why push the iPad version’s release up by at least three months? Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime says that while 10 million people have registered accounts with the service, “we saw that a few people online were holding out for the iPad version.”
“Instead of calling those folks up individually, we figured we might as well let everyone know that the global iPad rollout for Hearthstone has begun, and pretty soon it’ll be available everywhere.”
Where it won’t be available everywhere soon: Android devices, iPhones and Windows tablets. Blizzard says those versions are “in development and will be available in the future.”