Blizzard's massive Hearthstone price increase angers players

Just 24 hours before Patch 25.4 went live, Hearthstone players were informed of more than 600% price increase in various regions.

Overnight, Hearthstone players in certain international regions saw Blizzard Entertainment increasing the prices for sets, mini-sets, and Runestones, by 600% or higher.

Just 24 hours before Patch 25.4 went live, Hearthstone players were informed of more than 600% price increase in various regions. (Images: Blizzard Entertainment)

Players of the Hearthstone digital card game were aware that Update 25.4 would introduce the Return to Naxxramas mini-set. However, no one outside of Blizzard was informed of a price increase being applied until the company posted the announcement on its forums, giving less than 24 hours’ notice of the change.

After the biggest Hearthstone expansion March of the Lich King last December 2022 was released, patch 25.4 would see the mini-set Return to Naxxramas add 38 new cards, as well as updates to the different game modes, such as Battlegrounds, Mercenaries, and Arena. But it also included high price changes in certain countries.

Blizzard posted the changes that would come to the regional pricing with the patch on its official forums (note that is the translated version from the original Spanish post):

During the next week, in conjunction with the 25.4 update, the price of various Hearthstone in-game items will increase for some countries and regions, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Georgia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. These adjustments will take place across all platforms and stores. Any initial price disparities across platforms will be resolved shortly after the 25.4 patch is released.

This announcement was not synchronized with Blizzard’s other social media channels. Thus, anyone from these regions that were not following the official Hearthstone forums would be unaware of the massive price increase.

Hearthstone's update 25.4 includes new cards, such as the first Death Knight location and colossal cards.

Hearthstone players took to Twitter to voice out their displeasure at this surprise. It appears the intent of Blizzard’s regional price changes were to get them in line with the equivalent U.S. dollar amount. However, some regions affected are currently suffering economic concerns, particularly Turkey which is recovering from the effects of the calamitous earthquake and Ukraine which is still being invaded by Russia.

Regional prices were intended to allow for a wider reach for Hearthstone, adjusting for the lower average income in some countries compared to the U.S. These adjusted prices made it possible for the game to penetrate markets that would usually prioritize essential costs of living, rather than spend it on Hearthstone. Tax rates are also different in these regions, making the final adjusted pricing balloon even higher.

With the price increase applied, Hearthstone players from the regions and countries affected have overwhelmingly negative reactions. Some have even gone on to say that the prices would be equal to half a month’s salary in their country.

This massive price hike is just one more in a series of unhappy news for the Hearthstone community. Blizzard recently lost its Chinese market for its entire library. And with the growing popularity and push from Wizards of the Coast with its own Magic: The Gathering – Arena digital card game, Hearthstone profits might be looking at a big hit in profitability this year.

Along with the release of the Return to Naxxramas mini-set, some classic cards also get Diamond versions that can be earned through achievements.

Based on Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft universe, Hearthstone is currently available for play on mobile devices and Windows PC.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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