Blizzard has announced their first stab at free-to-play gaming. It will take the form of a digital collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe.
Titled Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft, the new game is created by Blizzard's new team five. These 15 developers got together to create a more condensed and unique experience than the company's more established properties.
The game has players choosing from a class in World of Warcraft then earning packs of cards in-game or buying them for $1 or so. Both online multiplayer and matchmaking is handled by Battle.net.
Interestingly, there will also be a card crafting mechanic. This is accomplished by disenchanting unwanted cards to receive Arcane Dust which is used to craft a potentially useful card.
Hearthstone is set for release on PC, Mac and iPad sometime in 2013 with beta planned for Summer. Check out the debut trailer here.