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Hearthstone playerbase nearly doubles in six months to hit 20M

The free-to-play digital card game developed in Unity by a small (by Blizzard standards) internal team is continuing to punch far above its weight -- at least in terms of registered accounts.
Blizzard's Hearthstone has surpassed 20 million registered players, suggesting the free-to-play digital card game's userbase has roughly doubled in the six months since the company's March earnings report. During that report, the company crowed about hitting 10 million Hearthstone players less than a month after the game's official launch and noted that over a third of Activision Blizzard's total revenue for that quarter had come from digital sales of games like Diablo III, World of Warcraft -- and Hearthstone. This is notable because Hearthstone -- a free-to-play PC & mobile game developed in Unity by a small (by Blizzard standards) team -- is a significant change of pace from the sort of big-budget games Activision Blizzard has historically fielded. While that strategy certainly isn't moribund -- the company reportedly saw $500 million in first-day sales of Destiny -- it's likely to change as Hearthstone continues to grow. That growth may have a dark side, too: a botter recently claimed that he was able to operate a Hearthstone bot for three days and Blizzard either didn't care -- or didn't notice.

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