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​​​​​​​Hearthstone® Embarks on its Biggest Journey Yet With Forged in the Barrens, Live Today

The first expansion of the Year of the Gryphon introduces 135 all-new cards inspired by one of World of Warcraft®’s most iconic and beloved locales
Also live today is the new 235-card Core set, which replaces the existing Basic and Classic sets, and is available to unlock free to all Hearthstone players
Last week saw the launch of the Hearthstone Classic format, which recreates the game as it was in 2014

IRVINE, Calif.—March 30, 2021—Forged in the Barrens, the new expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s smash-hit digital card game Hearthstone®, is now live, kicking off the Year of the Gryphon with a rousing cry of “blood and thunder!” Inspired by the titular setting from World of Warcraft®, Forged in the Barrens introduces 135 new cards that capture the beloved stories, memorable characters, and savage hazards that define this iconic, untamed frontier.

To survive these battering proving grounds, players will have to avail themselves of all the might that the Barrens has to offer. Forged in the Barrens introduces the new keyword Frenzy, which grants minions a powerful effect the first time they survive damage. Players can also add Ranked Spells to their deck, which increase in power at five mana crystals, and reach their final forms at 10 mana crystals. Spell Schools have also been permanently added to many spell cards, further expanding the potential for spell-slinging synergies. Finally, making their Hearthstone debut in Forged in the Barrens are 10 Legendary Mercenary minions, one for each class, whose stories will play out across the Year of the Gryphon’s yearlong narrative.

“Forged in the Barrens evokes some of Warcraft’s most iconic stories and themes, and the new cards it brings will infuse the game with the spirit and fury of the Horde,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “Along with the new Core set, you couldn’t ask for a more rousing start for the Year of the Gryphon.”

Hearthstone Core Set & Classic Format

Live today and free to all players to unlock as they level up, the Hearthstone Core set replaces the existing Basic and Classic sets with a collection of 235 cards, some curated from existing sets, and some all-new. Meant to adapt and evolve alongside Hearthstone, the Core set will be updated annually, serving as a solid foundation for all the expansions in a given Hearthstone year, and serving as an on-ramp for new and returning players.

Last week saw the launch of the Hearthstone Classic format, which invites players to experience the game as it was when it launched in 2014. Sitting alongside Standard and Wild, Classic is a full-fledged format with its own rewards and rankings and will include all of Hearthstone’s original cards as they appeared in the game’s earliest days.

Visit for more details on Forged in the Barrens, the Core set, and the Hearthstone Classic format.

About Hearthstone

With more than 100 million players worldwide, Hearthstone is Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed, free-to-play digital card game designed for novice and veteran card-slingers alike. Players can choose from 10 powerful hero classes and customize their decks with minions, spells, and weapons based on the unique fantasy of the Warcraft® universe. Featuring a variety of game modes ranging from epic head-to-head duels to story-driven Solo Adventures, Hearthstone offers a vibrant and rewarding experience stacked with strategy, personality, and fun. Hearthstone is available globally for Windows and Mac PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android tablets; and iOS, and Android mobile phones.

About Blizzard Entertainment

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft®, Hearthstone, Overwatch®, the Warcraft, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, and the multifranchise Heroes of the Storm®, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (, a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes twenty-three #1 games* and numerous Game of the Year awards. The company's online gaming service,®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

*Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distributors.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements:

Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment's expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the availability, features, and functionality of Hearthstone®, including the Core set and the Year of the Gryphon, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.