Following in the success of Wizards of the Coast's Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers games, Blizzard will be entering the digital collectible card game market with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
The free-to-play game will feature more than 300 different cards. Players will be able to earn or buy packs of cards (five cards per pack), with Blizzard expecting final pricing to fall somewhere around $1 per pack.
Pack opening will have some flair, as cards will explode when flipped over, and rare cards will have a special signifier making them even more impressive to earn, and easy to spot. Blizzard is also including a card creation mechanic, where players will be able to burn combinations of cards to create more powerful single cards.
Decks can be created automatically or with assistance from the game, but players will have final say in what cards they bring into battle. The key focus of the game in 1-on-1 battles, and during the demo Blizzard showed off, there were a lot of interesting mechanics and animation touches that made the action more than just a standard CCG.
A beta will kick off this summer, with a full release on Windows and Mac planned for this year. An iPad version will arrive sometime after the online game launches. The game is playable on the floor at PAX East this weekend.