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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says HearthStone has potential to become Blizzard's fourth "mega" franchise

In Activision Blizzard's 4th Quarter earning call today CEO Bobby Kotick and Blizzard President Michael Morhaime spoke on Hearthstone's future.

Morhaime, President and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, stated that Hearthstone continues to be one of the most popular games to watch on Twitch. He said that the BlizzCon Hearthstone Innkeeper Invitational received 100,000 concurrent viewers for the finals, and that BlizzCon received 4.5 Million viewers in total.

Morhaime said that Hearthsone will launch on iPad before iPhone and Android. HearthStone has received approval for launch from the Chinese government, which has made it easier to do business in the country.

"Millions of players across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America participated in Hearthstone’s closed beta test", said Morhaime. "And a couple of weeks ago, the game transitioned into open beta, which means that anyone can now download the game without any special invitation."

Activison Blizzard's CEO Bobby Kotick has high hopes for the new franchise, stating: Hearthstone has potential to become Blizzard's fourth "mega" franchise, following World of WarCraft, StarCraft, and Diablo.

"Hearthstone, which released in open beta on PC last month and which Blizzard Entertainment plans to expand this year to tablets and smartphones, is already attracting millions of players with strong engagement and monetization in the West and China, putting it on track to join World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft as their fourth mega franchise," said Kotick.

"Early engagement and monetization trends look very promising" added Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin.

BlizzCon Champion Dan 'Artosis' Stemkoski, who was featured in the much watched finals along with Octavian 'Kripparrian' Morosan, told onGamers in November about his positive thoughts for the future of the game.

"The free to play aspect is awesome for Hearthstone", Stemkoski said. "Over time you can practice and build up your collection at little to no cost.The fact that it's all online means that you can easily find games at any moment. Also, the entry level is a LOT lower, which is probably better for the game's popularity overall."

You can view the full earnings report here.