Blizzard’s card game Hearthstone can come with you wherever you go — as long as you live in the right country.
The publisher released its free-to-play card game on iPad today in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as part of a soft launch. The mobile version features all of the action you can find in the PC and Mac originals. Players on iPad can also face off against their rivals playing on the computer. If you’re in the U.S. or somewhere else and you just can’t wait, you could always use this workaround to play Hearthstone on your iOS or Android device right now.
Blizzard plans to launch Hearthstone on iPad in other territories soon. It is also working on iPhone and Android versions.
“Hearthstone’s player base has already grown to more than 10 million registered accounts following the official Windows and Mac release, but we saw that a few people online were holding out for the iPad version,” Blizzard chief executive Mike Morhaime said in a statement. “Instead of calling those folks up individually, we figured we might as well let everyone know that the global iPad rollout for Hearthstone has begun, and pretty soon it’ll be available everywhere. The game is a natural fit for tablets — we encourage everyone to check it out on their couch, in their backyard, in a coffee shop … or anywhere else they take their iPads.”
If you take your iPad with you to a coffee shop, make sure it has wi-fi because Hearthstone is online only and requires a connection.
Hearthstone represents Blizzard’s first big push into free-to-play and mobile gaming. The game has no upfront cost, but players can spend real cash to enter a special Arena mode or to purchase booster decks. At the same time, many fans praise it for offering up items and in-game virtual gold at no charge for completing quests.
The publisher released Hearthstone in March after a lengthy testing phase. Now that it is out and heading to iPad, analysts anticipate it could generate as much $200 million this year.
Blizzard also has another upcoming free-to-play game called Heroes of the Storm, which is a mutiplayer online battler similar to League of Legends.
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Michael "Mike" Morhaime (born 1967) is president and a co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment (originally founded in 1991 as Silicon & Synapse), a video game developer located in Irvine, Calif... All Michael Morhaime news »