Blizzard Wants You to Play Hearthstone for the Next 10 Years

Blizzard balanced microtransactions for the long haul.

World of Warcraft is slowing down, but it had an amazing run since it launched in 2004. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard hopes, will enjoy the same kind of longevity.

According to Hearthstone producer Yong Woo, the desire to keep the game running for a long time motivates Blizzard to price items in the free-to-play game fairly.

"Universally we’ve been getting feedback that our pricing is very generous," Yong told IGN in an interview. "To us, that’s important. For us, we’re here for the long run. We’re not here to make a quick buck. I want to be playing and working on Hearthstone 10 years from now and from that end, instead of focusing on maximising immediate profit, Hearthstone is really about being able to play it how you want to."

Production director for Hearthstone Jason Chayes reiterated the sentiment in an interview with Games Industry International. "We talked about this idea of white hat black hat from Westerns, and for us one of the goals we set for ourselves was that we wanted to do microtransactions with a white hat," he said. "When Blizzard approaches a game it's with the intention of making something that's going to be around not for a month or two or a year or two but something that we're really into for the long haul. A game that we plan to support for many many years to come, and that's certainly the case with Hearthstone."

Since it launched the beta, the group within Blizzard that created Hearthstone, Team 5, has grown from 15 people to more than 30. It's now working on responding to player feedback and creating new content to keep players engaged. The most significant content added to the game so far was the single-player expansion Curse of Naxxramas, which released on July 22.

For more on Hearthstone, be sure to check out our previous coverage.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

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emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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80 comments
ecurl143
ecurl143

Next 10 years you say?

Funny, Bungie is saying the exact same thing.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The prices aren't all that fair. It's the fact that the in-game rewards are enough that you're not forced to pay money to keep up or continue playing.

As an example: The Naxxramas DLC was ok priced, but it wouldn't be if it was harder to earn the 700 gold it takes to unlock a corridor. $20 is a bit much for what is offered.

straightcur
straightcur

The game gives you so much in game gold, I don't know why anyone would ever pay. 

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

"We’re not here to make a quick buck."

LOL

Oh, you crazy execs and your off the wall humor.

As for Hearthstone, no worries about 10 year promises, Bli$$ard.

I can assure you quite confidently I will be doing something else with my time.  :)

ghost140
ghost140

Still waiting for a new Warcraft RTS with a proper continuation from the Frozen Throne not that WoW bastardization.

mr_nee
mr_nee

For me this is like substitution to solitaire - got 5 mins to play till tea is ready, you can launch this one. Would I sit down and play it for hour - never

Moun7ainMan
Moun7ainMan

Honest question: is this a pay to win game?

Rakou
Rakou

At high tier HS, everyone uses the same decks, and RNG decides the outcome of matches. Skill? The amount of skill required to reach Legendary is equivalent to becoming pro in Pokemon. You just need a lot of time and the knowledge of the current meta/cards. 

With the lack of diversity, the sluggish pace non-paying players make progress, and the heavy implementation of RNG, the only element that's keeping HS alive is the Warcraft brand and Blizzard's excellently executed push into the e-sports scene.

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

I used to play Hearthstone but after a few weeks I realized that I don't like card games because of all the luck involved. Moreover there are cards with random effects which in my opinion makes no sense.

aura3848
aura3848

As a fan of both Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon TCG, I can honestly say Hearthstone is one of the worst card games I have ever played. Whose idea was it to put so many random elements in a TCG? The only thing that needs to be random is the shuffled deck.

vadagar1
vadagar1

when was the last time blizzard made a good game that did not have real money AH or DLC or cash shop ??? hmmm 10 years ago 


yah that's when u died blizzard .. for me anyways

vadagar1
vadagar1

yah and i want then to kiss my A$$ for the next 100 


Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

We really need a new Pokemon Trading Card Game game. I'd definitely play that, been so long since I played with the actual physical pokemon cards.

warriors30
warriors30

I've been thinking about (finally) trying it... just to see what all the fuzz is about... but I can already tell I won't play this for 10 years, that sounds like purgatory to me.

prats93
prats93

Here's a thought Blizzard. Make the game premium with every card unlocked from the get go. And there, you have a very interesting and compelling strategy game. If not, create a matchmaking system for players to face off against people with similar cards, that's how you make a balanced F2P game. Take a page from Valves book you greedy fucks.

Mewtwo64
Mewtwo64

As long as the Pay to Win model is so prevalent, the devs will be lucky if the game is around five years from now (LOL). I beta tested Hearthstone and it's broken by design to force folks to spend money to buy cards. No thanks. I wasted $1000 on Pokemon Cards and $1200 on Yugioh cards. The physical cards, mind you. I swore off trading cards period after that. 


The dedicated HS boys and girls on both MMO-Champion and the Blizz forums (the players not the devs, mind you) burned through the game pretty quickly. There's not much incentive to play HS knowing you csn get the full experience just playing WoW.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Fun game, but I don't really plan on buying anything from there.

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

10 years? I haven't even played it once yet, and i'm not even planning to...

Xtremeelectro
Xtremeelectro

Well Blizzard, dont make it pay2win next time and maybe it will last "10 years".

deathwish026
deathwish026

i dont buy cards for hearthstone as i dont have the ability to resell them. i am sorry but if i pay for something i want the right to sell it all on when i am finished... with exception to a few game DLC of course..

mattcake
mattcake

Yeah that's about right, microtransactions aren't so bad if the game lasts 10 days.

Wait now, it's 10 what? LOL.

skipper847
skipper847

Is the new trend to make you think a game is longer then it is.  Destiny now this. which next.

Keaze_
Keaze_

wth is this game anyways?  Is it the card game?  Right now i'm drunk and listening to a live metallica concert and could give a f*** about a card game.  Who the hell plays that kind of thing?  I -love- all of blizzard's games (have never played wow because i dont need the addiction, was addicted to an mmo for 10 years and that was enough for me), but I don't get the card game thing.  If I want to play cards I can make a card castle at home irl.

steaminpotatoes
steaminpotatoes

OK , fun game, can't wait for the android port so I can play on the go, the iPad stays at home, too big to lug around and i don't want to get mugged.

91210user
91210user

Blizzard wants to be the digital 'Magic the Gathering' producers! So long as they wipe Pokemon Cards from my mind, I'm in!

vadagar1
vadagar1

@Hvac0120 its a MONEY SCAM 


STOP DOING THIS 


people like u are the only reason horrible companies like blizzard are still in the market 


just STOP SUPPORTING THEM

vadagar1
vadagar1

@ghost140 sorry to rain on ur face but ur gonna wait for a few trillion years until the universe is reborn and things happen all over again but then blizzard d wont suck then

Moun7ainMan
Moun7ainMan

NVM. I just read some of the other comments. :P

straightcur
straightcur

@aura3848  Every card game has randomness.  And you can easily build a deck with cards that have zero randomness.   Sounds like you just like your old games and are looking for excuses.

Aelfredus
Aelfredus

@aura3848 There are also random elements in Yu-Gi-Oh! since some cards require rolling a dice or tossing a coin... but yeah, there's a lot more randomness in Hearthstone.

Mewtwo64
Mewtwo64

@deathwish026 You don't get that choice with digital goods so deal with it.

 Why do you think Gamestop has been so successful?

iamllamapie
iamllamapie

@Keaze_ Guys, this guy is hardcore. Notice how he has taken his time out of his hardcore, drunken Metallica concert to read up about card game he doesn't care about. Stand back!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

@vadagar1 people like me? What am in doing that is causing a problem?

Hearthstone is the best implementation of F2P I've ever experienced, but they are far from my ideal of the business model.

I guess you didn't understand that I am complaining about the prices for content in Hearthstone.

Yes. I play this game. But I've never spent any real world money on it. Would I? Maybe. If the price and content is right. This game is good enough I feel Blizzard deserves a small chunk of my money. But I will only support them if the price for the content is right.

I am very much against any F2P model for games. I don't like the model and the way it's used to suck money from "whales" disgusts me. In that way, it surprises even me that I have enjoyed Hearthstone as much as I have.

These "whales" are part of the problem, but the source are the developers who make the games. It's a terrible business practice and all you need is the word "Zynga" classify such a game.

Hearthstone is far from ideal, but it's a huge step in the right direction if F2P is here to stay.

prats93
prats93

@steaminpotatoes It's pretty much pay 2 win. There's a point where you have to eventually pay for new decks because you simply cant win with the default ones. 

Xtremeelectro
Xtremeelectro

@steaminpotatoes dont get me wrong. I didnt lose many matches. I just saw the rate in which u get new cards and its really REALLY slow (in fact the slowest I have every seen) if you dont buy stuff with really money. so yeah, pay2win

deathwish026
deathwish026

@Mewtwo64 @deathwish026 um in a few select games on steam you can buy in game items and sell them on when your done for steam currency so you DO get the choice... and i am dealing with it by not buying cards.. i have already said this..

straightcur
straightcur

@prats93 @steaminpotatoes  If you cant build a good deck, then you might want to rely on overpowered cards (which all can be countered with basic cards).   So if you are not good at the game, paying might help.   That's not the games fault lol