When Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft was first announced at PAX East 2013, the game was met with some initial confusion by those in the crowd. Blizzard is making... a card game? But since its release earlier this year, the game has done nothing but prove those skeptics wrong. Now with a player base that's more than 20 million strong and the successful release of single player adventureCurse of Naxxramas this summer, Blizzard has revealed the first details of Hearthstone's next major add-on: and it's a big one.
The next major update for Hearthstone will be a full expansion that introduces more than 100 new cards into the game. To be clear, these cards won't just be random new additions, the entire expansion will have a central theme around it, like the Naxxramas release did.
Speaking to Polygon, Hearthstone production director Jason Chayes that Blizzard is still trying to nail down the ongoing schedule for its Hearthstone add-ons. He tossed out the idea of a schedule that could see Blizzard alternating between full expansions and more single player adventures like the one released this summer.
"We could imagine a future where we do a combination of adventures like Naxxramas and expansions kind of intermixed to have different sorts of experiences going out over the course of a year."
Chayes also noted that Blizzard is brainstorming ideas for brand new game modes that will allow gamers to play in different ways. The idea of a massive expansion to Hearthstone is certainly exciting and will likely have a significant impact on high level players in the meta-game. Even introducing the 30 new cards that came with Curse of Naxxramas brought significant changes to the decks of many players, with many gamers seeking out interesting ways to make use of the "Deathrattle" mechanic.
But Blizzard is aware that gameplay can change dramatically with the introduction of new cards and has already considered putting rules in place like Magic: The Gathering has that would limit the types of cards available for each deck. But Chayes said they're not there yet.
"We have done some initial conversations about at what point will that be a concern for us. We think we have a ways before we have to worry about something like that."
There's probably a reason Blizzard let this news come out today as it's just a little over a month from Blizzcon 2014 in California. With Blizzard announcing that its next-gen MMO Titan is scrapped, the company will need another big announcement to keep its devoted fans excited, and it looks like an expansion to Hearthstone could be just the ticket.
Hearthstone is available for PC and iPads. A version for Android and mobile phones are in development.
Follow Jason on Twitter @MuckrakerJG.