By now, most gamers (at the very least) have heard of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard's extremely addictive virtual collectible card game. And chances are, if they've heard of Hearthstone, then they've likely played Hearthstone.
But considering that Hearthstone ranks within the very niche CCG genre, one would figure that the game isn't that much of a hit. Think again, as Blizzard reveals the current player count for Hearthstone currently charts somewhere in the 20 million range.
Now, it's no surprise to consider that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has found success; after all we're talking about a game developed by Blizzard. But the fact that Hearthstone has already hit 20 million players – after only 6 months on the market, no less – is a very impressive feat.
It is worth mentioning, though, that unlike World of Warcraft or Diablo 3, Hearthstone is a completely free-to-play experience. Granted, that doesn't mean gamers (like myself) haven't sunk a few dollars into the game, but securing 20 million at no extra cost isn't exactly impossible – especially not for a Blizzard game.
Rather, it would be more interesting to know how many of those 20 million have actually put real money into Hearthstone, either to buy card parks or to unlock the recently released Curse of Naxxramas expansion. At $25 for the full expansion, that's a nice chunk of change if even half the total Hearthstone players picked it up.
Clearly, the Blizzard charm is alive and well, and gamers are having no problem letting a collectible card game draw them in. In fact, Hearthstone has even risen up the e-Sports ranks, to the point many are playing the game for actual money in live tournaments. One Hearthstone player even nabbed a job at Blizzard thanks to his skills with the game.
They may have been the king of the MMO a decade ago (and they arguably still are) but it seems Blizzard has honed in on a new formula for success: release a game in beta, generate buzz, officially debut it, and profit. It worked for Hearthstone and we bet it will work for Heroes of the Storm.
Were you one of the 20 million players that downloaded Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft? Have you spent any money in the game?
Source: Hearthstone (Twitter)