Blizzard has been teasing a big Pax East announcement for the past few weeks, and now we finally get to see what they have been working on. No, it is not the Titan MMO that everyone has been patiently waiting for the past two years, but rather Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a WoW-themed F2P collectible card game….What?! That is not what I expected. Let’s take a step back and see what this all means with the Hearthstone game trailer:
Yes, the developer known for massively immersive worlds and big-budget titles is bringing us a free-to-play digital card game. This was definitely a surprise to say the least, but after looking at the potential for the space, it starts to make sense. Magic: The Gathering (particularly Magic Online and Duels of the Planeswalkers) has proven that there is a huge and thriving audience for these card games, and if Blizzard is good at anything, it is seizing on opportunities and profiting from them.
As of right now, Blizzard mentioned that the game will have 300 cards at launch, with five cards per pack. The developer has not determined pricing, but according to ars technica, we should be looking at $1 per five-card pack.
This is the first Blizzard foray into the free-to-play space, so depending on how Hearthstone does, we may see the developer taking the microtransaction route more often in the future.
What do you think of this surprising announcement? And further, how do you think the free-to-play model will work for Blizzard? Let us know in the comments section!