Hearthstone wins Best Design award at GDC

Hearthstone fans are waiting expectantly for a big announcement tomorrow at PAX East

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone fans are waiting expectantly for a big announcement tomorrow at PAX East. But at another conference, Blizzard tasted award success to kick off what could be a big week.

At the annual GDC Awards in San Francisco last night, held as part of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), Hearthstone walked away with the gong for Best Design. Also on the shortlist were Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Shovel Knight, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

“We’re just really excited to show you what’s next,” senior UI designer Derek Sakamoto said in a brief acceptance speech. Blizzard will have a chance to show us what’s next tomorrow at PAX East, with many expecting the announcement of a new Blackrock Mountain-themed expansion.

Sakamoto had a busy GDC, giving a presentation earlier in the day on Hearthstone’s UI design process. That presentation was an interesting look down memory lane, but also offered some insight into the future. In one slide of his presentation Sakamoto showed what appeared to be the main menu screen of the game on both tablet and mobile devices—the first glimpse the public has had of the mobile version.


Hearthstone on mobile has been in development for a long time, and this is the first concrete information that fans have had about what it might look like. Sakamoto said the mobile platform would be coming “soon” and in “the next couple of months.”

The presentation also gave us a glimpse at early forms of the game, including an original concept that included players travelling across a world map battling in different areas of the Warcraft world.


As usually happens whenever members of the Hearthstone developer team do a Q&A portion, Sakamoto was thrown the inevitable question about increasing the number of available deck slots in the game.

“We know it’s an issue and we’re looking at it,” Sakamoto said, “that might sound like a handwaving answer. It’s really something that’s on our radar.”