Blizzard Presents Hearthstone, A Collectible Card Game
Blizzard took to PAX East today to announce its latest game, which much to everyone’s surprise was not a “core” title. PAX attendees expecting the studio to announce a Diablo III expansion or their next MMORPG are no doubt disappointed.
Instead, the studio announced Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a collectible card game for the PC and Mac.
The game is designed as a CCG akin to Magic: The Gathering and Blizzard’s own physical trading card game, developed by a small team of only 15 developers—all of whom are veterans of Blizzard.
“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
Within Hearthstone, players will be able to play with an assortment of pre-built decks or build their very own with hundreds of cards to win, craft, or purchase. Designed as a free-to-play title, players will be able to jump into the fray right away and simply accumulate cards as they play or pay for them for quicker access. They will also be able to salvage any of their existing cards to craft the ones they need.
Hearthstone is described as “deceptively simple, insanely fun” and a “fast-paced strategy card game for everyone.” It will be playable over Battle.net, where players will be able to challenge each other in two competitive game modes—”play mode” for classic head-to-head battles in which players can inrease their medal ranking and earn card packs along the way; and “The Forge”, where players must start the match by building a deck from a new set of cards and use it to duel other participants.
The game is expected for release later this year. Players can sign up for the beta test at the game’s official website. An iPad version of the game is set to follow.