In the lead-up to Hearthstone’s upcoming “Saviours of Uldum” growth, Blizzard Entertainment recently released a patch that ran a couple of housekeeping alterations to pave way for the new content.
The upgrade removed some older cards from the game’s Standard mode, added some new cards to the game’s classic set, and in a move that has stirred up tons of controversy, modified the art of eight old cards.
At a prime glance, all of the card art modifications seem to make the cards either less sexy or less violent. The card Eviscerate, which has always been one of the most famous spells in the game, was modified so that there’s no longer any blood in the art. The card Succubus, which earlier used to depict a whip-wielding demon of lust, is now called the Felstalker, and it looks like a run-of-the-mill four-legged demon with huge jaws.
For the past 24 hours, Reddit has been flooded with posts mocking these art modifications. One replaced the word “blood” in every card that uses it with the word “ketchup,” for instance. Up until now, there had been no official statement from Blizzard regarding the reasons for the updates, and so speculations as to why this happened were common. One guess was that Blizzard was trying to tone down its game for folks who might get offended by the sight of scantily clothed women. Another common hypothesis was that the company was catering to China’s censorship laws and changing its card art for that reason.
“The recent changes were applied to make those cards more visually cohesive and consistent with the art style of Hearthstone today. When Hearthstone first launched, we brought in a lot of artwork from the physical World of Warcraft trading card game. In the years since, Hearthstone has developed a look, feel, and personality of its own that distinguishes it from that of Warcraft—though we still love being a part of that universe. We’ll always be looking for ways to deliver on the game’s unique style, charm, and personality” said a spokesperson.