Prior to the expo, Blizzard had sent out a simple note, making sure people were paying proper attention:
We’ve been working on a little something, different from our other games, and we’re pleased to invite you to be the first to see it. It’s not a sequel, expansion or that rumored next-gen MMO, but it’s something we’re excited for you to get your hands on.
Fans remained stubbornly convinced the big reveal would be Titan (that is, the “rumoured next-gen MMO” mentioned above), while others put money on it being Blizzard All-Stars, the MOBA formerly known as Blizzard DOTA, formerly known as a mod for StarCraft II.
Instead, we are treated to Hearthstone, a free-to-play collectible card game. Fans are able to play as “mighty heroes” from nine World of Warcraft classes – and it’s Blizzard‘s first free-to-play title.
[img_three]10939,2013-03-22/ss1-full.jpg,2013-03-22/ss3-full.jpg,2013-03-22/ss6-full.jpg,Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
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Created by “Team 5”, there are just 15 developers working on Hearthstone. Rather than taking the traditional Blizzard approach, the studio wanted to work with “scrappy, versatile developers” who were cross-discipline, agile, and not stuck to any old-style technology or development approach.
The release window for this one is, of course, “When it’s ready” – but the team has told us to expect a beta in the middle of the year, and the full release of the game by the holidays. So far it’s been confirmed for PC, Mac and iPad – but we’re expecting plenty more information to come out of BlizzCon 2013, hitting California on November 8-9. Or, if you’re already at PAX East, then make sure you track down the Blizzard team – they have Diablo 3 playable on PS3 there for you.