Saturday, April 9, 2016

HearthStone MMO? Blizzard Goes to Town on April Fools

The beginning of April is always a time for practical jokes and Blizzard's ultra-efficient marketing-machine never misses the opportunity to shine the limelight on its products in this less-than-orthodox manner, by putting out prank announcements concerning new games, special items and hair-raising patch tweaks. This year, they were on top of their game again. Most of their April Fools effort went into HearthStone, the MMO, a game the company is supposedly working on, which will transfer the card-based antics into a three-dimensional MMO world...never mind the fact that most of its characters/game-world was inspired by World of Warcraft to begin with. To push this prank, Blizzard put out a short video, which - due to its overly goofy nature - screams "prank" from afar, thereby sort of defeating its very purpose by telephoning its nature...

The company targeted some of its other titles for April Fools jokes too: for WOW, new patch-notes have been released for the upcoming Legion expansion, in which the MMO was deemed "too massive". As a solution to that problem, the patch would reduce the size of the buildings and the foliage by some 25%. Players would be enabled to use emojis and some "HearthStone content" would find its way into the game too, content which had initially been transferred into HearthStone from WOW.

A bit more effort went into the Starcraft "prank" which took the shape of an actual, playable retro mini-game, which has players controlling Nova on a Vulture, as she races/avoids other vehicles and airstrikes.

As far as Diablo III goes, a number of purchasable items were announced. Among them the Hammer Pajammer and a cookbook from Tyrael stood out. Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm have thus far been spared of the April Fools-inspired ridicule.

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