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Meet Hearthstone's New $10 Portrait

If you enjoy Hearthstone [official site] and, like me, spend your lofty unemployed weekdays buying ludicrously priced tat online like some sort of teen heiress moron: Congratulations! You are very possibly Blizzard’s target market for the latest addition to its in-game store.

Blizzard have released the first of an apparent series of animated Hero portraits. At a $10 price point, players of the digital card game can switch out the current warrior portrait (which is of Garrosh Hellscream) with an animated portrait of Ironforge king Magni Bronzebeard. As described in an official post, the New Heroes will feature individualised emotes and voices, as well as a unique card design.

And that’s about that. From the mouths of Blizzard: “New Heroes do not add new cards to your collection or change the classes’ activated Hero Power and are not considered new classes.”

Needless to say, the price tag is baffling in that case. Ten human dollars is leaning toward the extreme end of what most gamers would consider paying for a single cosmetic item – Although not quite as highly priced as World of Warcraft’s $25 flying cat. Still, I find it endlessly fascinating to watch how far Blizz and others are willing to push the pricing standards of in-game retail.

A $10 animated portrait! – Is that excessive or a new status quo? What kind of gamer demographic do you imagine Blizzard are actually trying to target here? And did you know for a mere $8 I’d draw you a picture of a gnome to look at while you play games?

You can have a look at the Bronzebeard portrait release trailer below.

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Emily Gera

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