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Blizzard is still working on the smartphone and Android tablet versions of Hearthstone. Today they provided a status update on each platform.
The iPhone and Android phone editions of the game are the furthest away. Blizzard had previously announced that they would be out in late 2014. However, they were forced to push their launch back.
"We’re also close to having Hearthstone out to our iPhone and Android phone users, but it’s become clear that we need a little more time to get that version right," Blizzard said today. "While we have a build up and running internally, it needs a bit more work, and we don’t feel like we’ll be ready to share it with you until early next year."
The challenge is the same one that Blizzard described in March: the user interface. The development team has to shrink down the game to fit on phones' smaller screens.
"It’s very important to us that the phone experience for Hearthstone is just as accessible as the tablet and PC versions. One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand."
"Releasing Hearthstone on iPhone and Android phones is something we’re incredibly excited about, but ultimately we’d rather take the extra time to make Hearthstone’s user interface on the phone customized to feel great for the platform, rather than a port that doesn’t taken into account the limitations of a smaller screen."
The Android tablet, of course, doesn't have that issue. That version's closer to release as a result. Blizzard said that it should arrive by the end of the year.
Although the smartphone versions have slipped to 2015, it's been a big year for Hearthstone. The game officially launched on PC and Mac in March. The iPad edition arrived a month later.
Blizzard's managed to attract a lot of players on those initial platforms. Over 20 million gamers have played Hearthstone to date and have racked up over 2 billion hours of gameplay. Those and other fun facts were revealed with a new infographic, seen in the gallery below.
The company will cap off Hearthstone's first year with a World Championship. They've been hosting qualifier tournaments in Americas, Europe, China, Korea/Taiwan to determine the top 16 players. Those elite will compete for the top crown at BlizzCon 2014 in early November.