Some Hearthstone players have been offered 150 free booster packs – with a value of $180 – to return to Blizzard’s Warcraft-themed card game.
As reported by PC Gamer, various lapsed Hearthstone players have shared that they had been offered huge bundles of cards if they started playing again. The biggest offer was for 75 Standard Packs and 75 Voyage to the Sunken City Packs, which would otherwise cost players at least $179.96.
The offer is “common industry practice,” according to Blizzard. “We run many different limited and targeted tests such as this to better determine what drives former, new or current players’ interest, which is a common industry practice,” a spokesperson told PC Gamer.
“This was a region-specific test for Hearthstone in the UK and France for a subset of relevant players who were first randomly sorted into groups before being assigned a corresponding offer between 20 and 150 packs.”
Nevertheless, the test has caused some complaints within the Hearthstone community as the game has received criticism for its microtransaction market. Reddit user Lichnaught, who received the full 150 packs, asked “why grind gold daily when you can just not play for a couple of months?”
Other users complained in the comments that they also recently returned after taking a break but didn’t receive any packs, while others said they’ve played Hearthstone every day for years and never received anything like this. Given that Blizzard was testing free packs for lapsed players, that potentially could become a more set reward in future.
Hearthstone recently nerfed its infamous Drek’Thar card – which could only be bought for $25 – and offered refunds to the players who already bought it. The Diamond Drek’Thar was released in early April to significant player outcry due to its high price tag.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer whose coverage of day-to-day news means he writes about everything from Thanos’s butt to political movements within the industry, but mostly about video games. Ryan has six years of journalism experience and before IGN he wrote mostly for national newspapers in the UK including The Times, i, and The Scotsman. Find him on Twitter @thelastdinsdale.