THE RED BULLETIN: How big could this get?
DAN CHOU: I’ve seen statistics that 30 million are playing it. But it could also be 40 million by now. It’s really accessible and it’s not terribly complicated … it’s a family game. I see fathers and mothers and sons playing together. [With traditional titles] it’s hard to get down and grind through some of the big games and develop the strategies. You have to have time for it.
This did come from Blizzard, which gave the world complex strategy games like StarCraft II. Why do you think they’ve been able to reach a broader audience with this?
A lot of people are gamers; they just don’t accept that as part of their identity. But they love spending time playing on their mobile. Blizzard promotes Hearthstone by connecting it to the average player, and they don’t think of things like twitch speed. They’ve taken a different approach. They want it to be fun and atmospheric.
GAME OF CARDS
The who, what and when of Hearthstone
Hearthstone is a digital collectible card game involving strategy between two opponents in turn-based matches. Though you can play against a computer, most play online. The cards are based on characters and stories from Blizzard Entertainment’s hugely popular World of Warcraft franchise.
The Main Event
On February 6, streaming service Twitch will broadcast a unique tournament in cooperation with Honda Civic and Red Bull, matching four teams of three players each.
How did you get involved in it?
I played [card game] Magic: The Gathering. I really appreciated the complexity of it. And hearthstone seemed like a Fisher-Price version of it. But I played it for 13 hours straight. Not only is it really fun to play, but it’s just as fun to watch, because you can benefit from knowing what’s happening on both ends. A lot of games don’t have that.
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