There is something fascinating about dragons. They are a fantasy staple that keep reappearing in literature and movies, even in modern fiction such as Game of Thrones. Therefore, it is not surprising that dragons are also fan-favorites among Hearthstone players, and many players want to play with dragon cards. While many dragon decks are more fun than viable, there is one notable exception: Dragon Priest – the dragon deck that is used by dragon fans and competitive players alike.
Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone is the market-leader in digital collectible card games. In addition to a considerable casual user base, the game is also a popular esports title with several small online tournaments played around the world every day and multiple global live tournaments taking place every month. According to Esports earnings data, the prize money awarded in Hearthstone tournaments is the seventh-largest amongst all esports games.
Despite all of this, the three-and-a-half-year-old game has no in-client competitive play support whatsoever. The developers have expressed interest in adding such support, but according to their latest statements, they are planning a full in-client tournament experience with no estimated completion date.
This seems to contradict all modern software development methodologies. We have agile sprints with new functionality delivered each sprint. We have minimum viable product (MVP) methodologies that identify the essential features and start by delivering those and expanding later. Yet, the development of Hearthstone does not seem to follow such methodologies.