Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft just discovered a new way to take your money.
In the digital card game, players select a hero, each one representing a different class with a unique Hero Power. Today, Blizzard announced that its adding new heroes, although they each belong to one of the old classes. For example, the only one announced so far, Magni Bronzebeard, is a warrior, just like the currently available Garrosh Hellscream. Basically, these are new skins, which have their own emotes and animations, but don’t actually change gameplay. You can buy the pack of new heroes for $10 when it’s out.
Hearthstone is a big hit for Blizzard. It’s currently the 18th highest-grossing game on iTunes, according to App Annie. It’s the company’s first attempt at a free-to-play game, so its money comes from players buying digital card packs and campaigns against special, computer-controlled opponents. These hero skins give Blizzard a new way to monetize Hearthstone with something purely cosmetic, something that other free-to-play games like League of Legends and Path of Exile take advantage of.
Meanwhile, a couple of classes from World of Warcraft, Death Knight and Monk, aren’t represented in the game at all yet. Hopefully we’ll see them, with their own Hero Powers, in a future update.