Hearthstone announced on their blog that they would shut down Fireside Gatherings ahead of the next expansion. The tavern isn’t always open.
Blizzard revealed that there will be no more Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings or pre-expansion activities moving forward. After a more than three-year-long suspension of public in-person events due to the pandemic, Hearthstone has sunset the Fireside Gatherings program.
"As of today, the public Fireside Gatherings website has been shut down."
Farewell to Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings
Blizzard decided to retire one of the Hearthstone community cornerstones, Fireside Gatherings. In addition to that, many of the features and FSG-related activities will also say goodbye.
"We’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Fireside Gatherings program as we re-align our focus towards features and programs that can serve more of our players throughout the world."
Despite that this same year Hearthstone used Fireside Gatherings as a marketing tool to promote expansion they've shifted the course. "We are also exploring options for new community-building events that are more digital-focused, like our recent Community Day activation" the blog post mentioned.
Many content creators expressed their sadness on social media after hearing the news. Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings were the place where many communities were forged.
With the Hearthstone Esports scene with no signs of returning to LAN versions, the only in-person Hearthstone event after the Fireside Gatherings shut down will be BlizzCon.
"We’re very excited to be returning to BlizzCon this year, as the ultimate in-person celebration of Blizzard games and community!"
FSG related activities
With Hearthstone sunsetting Fireside Gatherings, the community will lose other related features too. The Pre-Release Weekend FSG will be one of them. Starting in the next expansion, players will no longer be able to open their packs before the set goes live.
"There are no Fireside Gathering Pre-Release Weekend plans for future expansions."
The team presented a Mass Pack Opening feature instead, and while it will speed up the process, it will not replace the personal touch these in-person events had. Some other FSG components such as the Special Tavern Brawls might be integrated into the game.
Last but not least, for those who care about collecting everything, Hearthstone warrantied that the special Fireside Gathering cosmetics will be obtainable through other means.
"As part of this change, we’re planning on adding a way for players to get the Nemsy Necrofizzle hero portrait and the Fireside Gatherings card back in-game."
While the Hearthstone Tavern is always open, the community feels that a part of it has closed with the shutdown of Fireside Gatherings. Let's hope that Blizzard's plans for the future will help lower the impact this loss has on the community.
That is all for now, but stay tuned to esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time in the Tavern.