The end of an era is upon Azeroth with Blizzard’s breaking announcement that the physical World of Warcraft trading card game has come to a close.
Timewalkers: Reign of Fire, the 21st set in the official trading card game’s history, will also be the last. Over a span of seven years — making the trading card game almost as old as the MMO that spawned it — Blizzard made its mark on the TCG scene by introducing fun, easy-to-grasp mechanics and beautifully illustrated cards that were as wonderful to collect as they were to play with.
Considering that Timewalkers included every loot card from the game’s lifespan, some of the more speculative players out there may have already had the feeling that something was on the horizon, especially with the impending release of Blizzard’s new Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft online TCG that has been taking the community by storm. There are some advantages to making the switch from physical to digital; for one, there’s no need to worry about card storage, loss, or damage. The online matchmaking system for Hearthstone also guarantees that our days of lugging around heavy binders in search of a challenger are over, and it’s extremely likely that once Hearthstone transitions into a live release client, we will begin to see tournaments popping up to replace those dedicated to the World of Warcraft TCG, although many dedicated fans will undoubtedly be holding onto their cards, so don’t throw out your decks yet! The buy-in to Hearthstone is also cheaper per pack, with beta store prices currently set at just $2.99 for two packs, each containing five cards with at least one guaranteed rare (or better).
There are many questions swirling around the community right now, and in their official announcement released earlier this evening, Blizzard took the time to answer some of the more common inquiries:
Q: What about my loot cards that I haven’t redeemed yet?
A: You can still redeem your loot cards on our website (simply follow the instructions there).
Q: Will there still be tournaments for the WoW TCG?
A: While there will not be official tournaments hosted by Cryptozoic or Blizzard Entertainment, players are able to continue organizing tournaments as long as they follow our tournament guidelines listed here.
Q: I’m an artist/tournament winner; who should I contact if I have any questions?
A: Please contact Cryptozoic for any follow-up inquiries.
Q: Will you be renewing the contract for the WoW TCG with another partner?
A: While we don’t have any specific announcements to make at this time, we don’t expect to renew the license for the WoW TCG.
Despite Hearthstone’s apparent takeover of Blizzard’s TCG scene, there is still a pervasive sense of loss with the announcement that the physical TCG is gone for good. Unless there are additions in the works, the glory days of ripping open a new pack to find a special loot card that can be redeemed within the World of Warcraft MMO are over. The dedicated community that sprung up around the WoW TCG is undoubtedly mourning their loss, which is understandable — after seven years, it’s easy to get attached to a game. Many of us have fond memories of tournaments and epic matches against friends which will never be replaced. Here’s to hoping that Hearthstone, whose beta has been extremely well-received, will be able to fill that void.
From all of us here at BlizzPro, we’d like to say thank you to the designers and artists who brought us years of enjoyment with the official World of Warcraft trading card game, and wish them the best.