Hearthstone Reaches 20 Million Players
According to a tweet from the game's official Twitter account, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard's free-to-play digital card game, has topped 20 million players worldwide.
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) September 15, 2014
Six months ago in March, Hearthstone hit 10 million players following the open beta and official release earlier this year. This now means that it may be Blizzard's most popular title ever.
20 Million vs. the World
One of the most popular games published this decade was Blizzard's flagship MMORPG World of Warcraft (WoW). It's no secret though that Warcraft subscribers have been steadily declining, hitting a low of 6.8 million in August. Each of those 6.8 million players pay $15 a month in subscription fees but it does not come close to the 12 million+ player population during the peak popularity of World of Warcraft.
As a direct comparison this may not be entirely fair. Hearthstone is geared towards casual players who can play just a few games per day spending around 30 mins to 1 hour and still make progress. WoW on the other hand demands a far greater commitment in both time and money with the subscription fee.
To reach the same level of revenue as WoW enjoys currently, Hearthstone players would just need to spend around $5 a month on average. Will Hearthstone eclipse WoW and become the new cash cow for Blizzard?
Can Hearthstone Beat the League?
With Android and iOS versions of the game scheduled to come out at the end of the year, Hearthstone stands a good chance of catching up to another free-to-play title, League of Legends (LoL). Riot Games say that 27 million people play LoL every day, with more than 7.5 million playing simultaneously during peak times.
Hearthstone's success stands as a testament to the growth and demand of the free-to-play distribution model. From a game that was released 6 months ago the player growth has been astounding. Truly, now is a great time to be a Hearthstone fan.
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