PAX East is happening right now and even though I'm not there to watch people announce things on stages, I've recently discovered a magical portal that allows me to read about reactions to things that are happening on the other side of the world. Currently, the tiny aperture is bursting with words and letters, things like 'CCG', 'Free to play', 'first', 'Warcraft', 'Blizzard' and 'oh...really? Oh'. It would appear that the denizens of whatever land exists at the other side of the portal are discussing the announcement of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard's first free to play game, which is a strategic collectible card game. Either that or they've all gone mad.
Made by a smaller team within Blizzard, the reasoning behind Hearthstone is as follows:
We looooooove collectible card games and have been playing them since our Silicon & Synapse days. Creating a digital strategy card game felt like a natural next step for us, so we put together a small team and have been hammering away at Hearthstone for a while now. We’re excited to be working on something different from our other games, which we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Same goes for creating a game for iPad® in addition to PC.
Packs of cards can be earned in-game or purchased for around one USA BuckDollar. Card crafting is also possible and is achieved, from what I can gather, by destroying gathered cards and using the remnants to construct new ones. I'm guessing that magic is involved at some point. There's more info here.
There's an official website where you can sign up for the beta and even a trailer, which is just down there. Right there!
Beta is scheduled to start this summer and the game should be available by year's end. If you don't like this announcement, you can burn it and use the ashes to build a new one.