PC Gamer "Hearthstone" Beta Keys Swiped Early, Internet Goes Nuts

“Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft” is one of the bigger upcoming Blizzard Entertainment games. The free-to-play trading card strategy/battle game is in closed beta, with very few spots being given to fans every week. That’s why it came as a point of excitement when PC Gamer announced they would be giving out 350 beta keys earlier today at 3PM UK time.

Unfortunately, it appears as though the “grab a key” button did not appear for the majority of visitors at the time of launch due to an excessive load trying to get their hands on a key. What happened was some visitors were able to access a Google cache of the page and grab an access key to Hearthstone that way. What resulted was all 350 keys taken before the beta key button even showed up on the regular page. They were probably tipped off by this post and the email sent by this Redditor.

That is the official story from PC Gamer, one that is a grave misfortune. They should have better prepared against this, as they are a Top 5,000 website. It is their responsibility to make sure that there are no exploits in their system that allow things like this to occur. The fans of Hearthstone themselves have a different, more volatile take to the whole ordeal. And their hate is not just aimed at PC Gamer for their failings.

The Hearthstone subreddit is the biggest offender in this regard. While it is understandable that people will be angry over the fact they didn’t get their beta keys – something that is completely understandable – it is the words and reasoning that they use in order to justify and show their anger. Reminder: some of the following quotes came after the keys were all given out and before the official PC Gamer explanation.

RodianPRO says, “No evidence they were taken by bots? Why do I see a bunch of keys being posted just within the past 2 hours on ebay and other WTS sites.” (This user doesn’t seem to understand that capitalism is a cruel mistress that benefits from those willing to spend hundreds on a beta key)

haro12345 says, “I just get the feeling we were all scammed and PCgamer seems to have no intention of replying any requests to provide proof that there was a giveaway at all.” (Ahh, the old “conspiracy for pageviews” dodge)

It’s not just the subreddit. This Steffan has taken to Facebook to get Blizzard Customer Service to, “Remove PC Gamer from [their] supported sites.” This Steve on Twitter went one step further, telling the PC Gamer Twitter account, “Fire your entire website staff. They can get their jobs back if they can click the button on the #hearthstone giveaway page.” That’s right, these Hearthstone fans are demanding a partnership cancellation and the entire PC Gamer writing team to be fired because they weren’t able to obtain access to a free beta for a video game.

The worst to come out of the Hearthstone hate is from Redditor Griddlez and it is downright despicable. The image below is for posterity.

hearthstone_redditor_01I can understand that somebody wronged you, Hearthstone fans. I can understand swearing, irrational thinking and demands that everyone on PC Gamer (including the majority of the staff that weren’t involved in the giveaway) to be fired. But when you compare the system insecurities allowing the exploit of beta keys to the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent lives in the biggest terrorist attacks the world has ever seen? You might want to step back from the keyboard and reflect about what you meant to convey and try better next time.

It’s not all that bad. I invite you to look through the entirety of the major threads here, here and here. PC Gamer certainly was in the wrong and should better prepare themselves for their next batch of Hearthstone beta key giveaways next week. The fan reaction, however, may have been even worse.

Tags: Blizzard Hearthstone Video Games

  • phil stewart

    Reddit is a cesspool of whiny immature irrational self-absorbed assholes with crusader complexes. In other news, water is wet.

    Wait a minute, your screenshot shows you use RES. Ah, forgot to add self-loathing to the above list.

  • monnef

    9/11: Watch the Zeitgeist movie and you might start thinking if it were really terrorists. Then the reddit comment is quite fitting.

  • Gintoki

    9/13, never forget.

  • DaItalianFish

    9/13, never forget.

    • eddbutter

      9/13, never forget.

  • YesMyFriendsYES

    9/13, never forget.

  • seriouslynow

    9/13, never forget.

  • STFN

    LOL You completely missed the point on that RodianPRO post.

  • STFN

    Also, the biggest terrorist attack the world has ever seen? Wow.

  • JackBanner

    I will remember this day 80 years from now

  • mrwho

    How did this get published? ‘People get annoyed’ is not a good news article. Nor is ‘let’s mock random comments on the internet’.

    I was one of those people annoyed. It’s not the not getting a key that bothers me. It’s the amount of time dedicated to getting something we were destined to fail to get. I’m still pretty annoyed about it. A lot of the reactions are OTT, but that isn’t newsworthy. Honestly these comments aren’t even that bad. Most of them, anyway. Of course, expecting people to get fired over this is ridiculous. And it’s not like the comparison to 9/11 is actually serious.

    I do have to admit though, the obsession me and thousands of other have over this game is pretty irrational. I don’t even know why I want it so much. Probably best to just forget about this until open beta.

    Nevertheless is it just me or is the quality of journalism really decreasing as of late, when people are getting paid to write something that couldn’t have taken more than 5 minutes to compile? Come on, put some effort into your work, people.

  • Catalin Andy

    @ Daniel: Nici cea mai mica sansa de un cd key.
    Am dat refresh ca un nebun eu si inca alti cativa prieteni.

    Dar asta e viata, botii sunt mai smecheri intodeauna…

  • Electronic Education Podcast

    I’ve been in the Beta since Day One. I’ve been doing a ton of playtesting, researching, and comparing ways to make gold and unlock packs for those of us that want to explore Hearthstone as a F2P game. Problem is that it’s pretty hard to unlock packs for free given the way the game is set up and especially at the dismal 5 gold per 5 wins gold gaining rate. You also can get gold from Daily quests, but that requires you to play all 9 of the class decks. Playing ranked mode makes matters even worse as you get better opponents yet still have to play the weaker decks just to complete the dailies for gold.

    I’ve put a lot of research and time into this Beta and have posted a long article explaining my findings to teach new Hearthstone players about the best order to unlock everything to be the most efficient at unlocking packs and earning gold to use for arena mode and other booster packs.

  • Mazena

    Someone has a sense of humor. 9/13, never forget.

    Also what the heck is this article? Criticizing general behavior is okay, but this just feels like the writer is attacking a few people directly with weird remarks about their intelligence. Not very cool or professional.

  • João Santos

    9/13 never forget

  • Glaeden

    Get a load of Boy George over here, shittiest article I’ve ever read. I’m not even here as a Hearthstone fan/beta-hopeful as I could care less about a card game. This is a mockery of journalism that ended in you insulting random users on websites. My review of you: fatandugly/10

  • Bud

    Perhaps the faggotry on Blizzard’s part should be addressed… as making a TCG… the kind of game that benefits greatly those with an early start or unique access…. so REMARKABLY INACCESSIBLE… The Hearthstone servers have like nobody playing because the only people getting keys are dollar jockeys and those that happen to be famous enough for blizzard to deem worthy. This just shows that Blizzard may look like it is evolving but the ignorant pick and choose money grub hasn’t quite left their blood…

  • prairiedogenit

    9/13, never forget.

  • Dilgen

    Stop addressing a few comments as all of the “Hearthstone fans”. Of course there are a lot of idiotic ones out there, it’s annoying to see that your pinning this on the whole community.

  • Sleiker

    9/13, never forget.

  • Kavinh Ly

    it doesn’t matter if people are exaggerating it’s the internet they can compare a giveaway to terrorism for all we care. Ur saying it’s understandable yet all you’ve done is repeatedly defend them from any criticism, your making a joke of the whole issue by repeatedly criticizing the way people are reacting. Did you even check how much those beta-keys are worth, people are willingly throwing 300 dollars away for a single key and they’re still having problems getting one, 350 keys is 105 grand and all you can do is make fun of the fans who are complete justified at demanding blizzard break off partnership with pc gaming.
    This entire article is a pathetic opinionated joke by someone who never even looked into the worth of the subject yet is repeatedly defending it like the whole issue was just a tiny mistake. Give me and every single one else a beta key then you’d have the right to laugh at us until you can do that you have no right to even criticize on the community’s choice of words let alone publish an article on it.

    • Kavv

      I agree man, Blizzard would have made a fortune by selling only the keys, not including the card-packs :O

  • thatguy

    9/13, never forget.
    also this guy is retarded.

  • Jason

    9/13, never forget.

  • Ymcha

    9/13, never forget.

  • AlphaHydrus

    A subjective article from an unprofessional author. Hypocritical at best, insulting at worst. The only goal being to belittle people. You are no better than those you are writing about.

  • yeahman

    9/13 never forget guys

  • Nope

    Shittiest news article I’ve read for a long time. You’d do a lot better if you actually researched your target audience, rather than coming up with such a subjective post.

  • Eirik Myrvoll Grønnevik

    9/13, never forget

  • ShankyFranky

    Lmao, seriously? You made an article just to attack a few reddit chumps? Maybe the writer of this article should come back and do some editing once he’s done throwing his tantrum. Act like an adult, Daniel George.

  • NobodyYouKnow

    This article is ridiculous.

  • NagasakIroshima

    Terrorism is what U.S. army does around the globe dear Daniel George.

  • Allen


  • Emir Hasagic

    ok this is one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. You sound so subjective, that is so butthurt over a few comments some ppl made because of pcgamer’s fail. If you ask me if anyone should get fired it’s you for writing such a retarded article. Who the hell hired you o.O

  • butthurt

    I’m part of the closed beta and frankly, i could feel for you lowlifes, and feel sorry for you for not getting your keys. But why would anyone feel sorry for a bunch of wankers who are so full of butthurt they have to make stupid comments, and look really fucking stupid in the process. This “article” may strike out at a few of the noobs who cry at night because they cant play a game that will be out for everyone in open betas pretty soon, but they fucking deserve the hate, and if i get hate for this, dilligaf. so suck your miniscule balls up, cut your dicks of and go play with your barbies like the girls you are.

  • Jason Faschingbauer

    My god this comment section one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever read.

  • Noob

    9/13, never forget.

  • Noob

    where was your “citicism” when the anger of the people was used to make war against Iraq?? and now (since its not useful anymore) its “a bad thing” since it doesnt help you anymore. go fuck yourself fucking Hypocrite

  • Steve Z

    I am “Steve on Twitter”. (“Fire your entire website staff. They can get their jobs back if they can click the button on the #hearthstone giveaway page.”) Yes, that was my tweet. It was also a fucking joke. What an asshole this writer is.

  • Raz Sadi

    9/13 never forget

  • shyndashu

    Wow I’ve never seen an article so poorly written and so bashful upon the Hearthstone community. Especially claiming in his title “Internet goes nuts”. That kind of ignorance of the topic based upon a select few of the Hearthstone redditors and tweets is nothing short of radical bias so his article can be viewed. He may be an avid fan of video games, but this is one guy I wouldn’t want to have in my inner circle of gamers at a LAN party. Just like how we think PC Gamer’s staff should be fired, maybe this guy should be fired as well. Just seeing these kind of articles appear on Google after doing a Hearthstone Beta key search is the equivalent of Fox News bashing the Obama administration. It’s biased, ignorant, and only selects few facts for justification of a generalized theory with inconclusive information supportive of a point which makes this article nothing short of bad journalism.

  • Lockheart

    PC Gamer edited their giveaway page claiming the keys where gone 15 minutes before the giveaway was finished. Lot of rage happened beause how shady PC gamer acted about it when it was clear exploits got used.

    Shame you did about as much research into this aside from glancing at the top posts in a reddit and twitter search. Bravo, buttmad journalism at its best. Journalism is used sarcastically here.