You might know Activision Blizzard as the mega-publisher behind huge franchises like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. And you might know King as the mobile publisher behind Candy Crush Saga, the Bejeweled clone that's inexplicably become one of the most popular casual games on the planet. In a few months the two companies will be one and the same: Activision Blizzard has announced its intention to acquire King for a staggering $5.9 billion.
For comparison, that's approximately six times what Facebook famously paid to acquire mobile photo sharing app Instagram. Activision currently has practically zero presence on the mobile game front with the notable exception of free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone, while King's various games across Android, iOS, Windows, and web platforms have amassed hundreds of millions of downloads and billions of dollars in revenue from in-app purchases.
Two-factor authentication is a good way to protect your Internet accounts from the bad guys. Rather than relying solely on a password, you require an additional code sent to your phone via a text message or app. Google offers this to secure your email account, and Blizzard does the same. And it's smart—you didn't spend all of your teenage and young adult years playing World of Warcraft just to watch someone screw around with your character.
If you're looking around wondering why your place of business seems a little emptier today, you probably work with some Hearthstone addicts. The Grand Tournament, the second expansion to the wildly popular collectible card game is now live on mobile devices. It brings some new gameplay mechanics and more than 130 cards to collect and take into battle.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is a pretty awesome game that combines simplicity, strategy, and luck better than any other card game I've tried. Since being introduced to it a few months ago, I have played more matches than I care to admit and, for the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. That is, until recently. Over the past couple of weeks the game has gotten really stale. It seems that every day I play against the same 8-10 decks that everyone uses and that is getting kinda old.
The wonderful (and awful) thing about Hearthstone is that just as players are refining their decks to perfection to dominate the game, new cards are introduced that turn everything upside again.
Blizzard's ridiculously popular card-based arena battle game Hearthstone is getting a new expansion, and you'll be able to pre-order it in just a few weeks. Blackrock Mountain will take players deep underground to the Molten Core where powerful creatures await your arrival. Braving the inferno will grant you 31 new cards that can only be obtained in this $25 expansion.
Here at Android Police, we've made our position on the prevalence of free-to-play mobile games perfectly known, to wit: most of them suck. It often seems like instead of embracing the audience-widening possibilities that the phrase "free game" implies, developers and publishers use it as an excuse to design games around compelling in-app purchases for more and more fleeting rewards. The phenomenon is well-documented, so I won't bore you with the inherently manipulative methods of most F2P games - you can read here and here if you really need a refresher.
Pictured: not something you want to see in your "free" game.
Blizzard is a game developer and publisher - maybe you've heard of them. They're responsible for little series like Diablo, Starcraft, and World Of Warcraft, among others. The company's latest effort is an online, multiplayer trading card game called Hearthstone, currently in an invite-only beta on PC. Polygon reports that at the annual BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, the company announced that Hearthstone will be released on Android in 2014.
Hearthstone is loosely set in Blizzard's Warcraft franchise, hence the subtitle "Heroes of Warcraft." Like other collectible card games, it's being built from the ground up on the free-to-play model, though reports from early beta players indicate that it's still easy enough to get into the main game without spending money.
Blizzard's franchises have so many followers that someone could fill a conference building with legions of fans and throw a party in their honor. Actually, such an event already exists. Blizzard hosts BlizzCon every year and invites thousands of players to come celebrate WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. It lasts for two days, but considering how many hours conference goers have already invested into these titles, this amounts to little more than another quest. For anyone set on going, Blizzard has released the official BlizzCon 2013 guide into the Play Store, an indispensible aid that makes the party all the more manageable.
A built-in calendar and planner that allows you to view the details of all the events taking place and add them to your personal calendar. The items in your itinerary can then be sorted by day, time, game series, and more.