In the latest report from research group, SuperData, Blizzard’s card game Hearthstone now earns $20 million every month. Those are impressive numbers for a free-to-play video game.
But how does a free-to-play game manage to earn so much?
Rather than building up a card collection using in-game gold, players have to option to purchase card packs using real money. Each card pack comes with five cards, including at least one rare card. Building a deck using only in-game gold can be incredibly time consuming since most players can only earn one deck a day. So purchasing card packs speeds up the collection process.
Another reason Hearthstone is drawing in so much revenue is because of the game’s expansions. Blizzard has released three expansions so far. The Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain expansions offer solo adventures where players unlock exclusive cards for each wing completed. Then there is Goblins vs Gnomes, which added over 120 new cards to the game. Players who want the latest releases have more incentives to purchase the expansions and new card packs because as stated earlier, grinding in-game gold can take a long time.
In addition, Blizzard is selling hero skins for certain classes. Skins include a new hero portrait, custom emotes, hero power animations, and a themed cardback. Currently, there are three skins available for the hunter, mage, and warrior. Skins can be purchased for $10.00 at the store.
With the upcoming release of their next expansion, Grand Tournament, we can expect to see even bigger earnings. In fact, players can already pre-order the Grand Tournament bundle. The bundle includes 50 card packs for $50.00.