Fantasy, action, adventure: It’s all in the cards with new game Hearthstone

Special effects and audio are all present in Blizzards new card game.

Special effects and audio are all present in Blizzards new card game.


From demons to orcs, dragons to spacecraft, Blizzard Entertainment has diverse games for a diverse culture.

Now, they are trying their hand at card games.

Known for games such as World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, Blizzard will take its first steps into online card games with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

Hearthstone, which has just started its open beta, promises to be unique compared to the company’s other titles due to the smaller-than-normal development team of more than 15 people.

“It’s good that they’re keeping minimal people on the project to keep the game ‘fresh’ and that they’ve thought that far ahead,” said Angela Song, 19, a first-year Game Design student. “But you can never predict what’s coming next.”

At Blizzard’s most recent Blizzcon convention, lead designer Eric Dodds and technical director Ben Brode addressed the crowd.

“It’s a little bit different than our other games, because we’re a smaller team, it’s a little more focused.”

Being a company that’s known for its quality and ingenuity, the company is hoping to drum up excitement for the card game, a genre already dominated by games such as Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh.

“I admire the artwork and the craftsmanship that goes into the technical aspect of card games,” said Christopher Johnson, 20, a second-year Illustration student. “And the online capabilities Blizzard has created are insane.”

To win over a diverse audience from fans of other card games, to people who have never even heard of Magic: The Gathering, Blizzard has laid down a few ground rules.

“If you look at a lot of traditional card games, there’s a lot of complicated rules,” said Brode. “Sometimes the cards feel like they’re written in a different language. We wanted to remove all those barriers and make sure anyone could jump in.”

It’s important to the small team they don’t oversimplify the game. “At the same time, we needed to make sure the game was deep. That’s important for any Blizzard game. We don’t want a game that you play for a week and then you’re done with it forever,” said Brode.

Hearthstone will feature nine playable hero classes, each based on famous characters from the Warcraft franchise’s history. No date has been set yet for Hearthstone’s release.