Jan 20 2014 - 10:41 pm

After 11-month wait, everyone can finally play 'Hearthstone'

Hearthstone, Blizzard’s hit-before-it’s-even-released card game, just entered public beta after six months in an invite-only system

Hearthstone, Blizzard’s hit-before-it’s-even-released card game, just entered public beta after six months in an invite-only system. Finally. You can download the game here.

More than one million players have already been invited to play over the course of the game's development. But now its finally instantly accessible to everyone, an important step in the game’s growth. Sure, it should have gone public months ago, but better late than never.

Hearthstone was announced in March, but was closed off to the public for 11 months. That might sound like a long time, but the journey to open playability was one of the quickest in Blizzard’s history. And even while the game was still closed, Blizzard was already working hard to build publicity, roping in popular esports stars to livestream matches and hosting promotional tournaments. That's helped propel the game to be one of the most popular games on Twitch and has attracted major esports organizations like ESGN and Team Liquid to launch new tournaments and websites to seduce players.

Now that the game is essentially finished--well, as finished as any free-to-play game with constant updates can be--the real questions can begin to be answered: How popular can Hearthstone become? How well will Blizzard support their title with new cards and features?

The game is wildly popular now, as the excitement of beta and release still lingers, but will it stand the test of time?

For now, it’s time to beat up on the newbies while we still can.

Image via Blizzard

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