Activision Blizzard’s ATVI Blizzard Entertainment division recently released Descent of Dragons, the new 135-card expansion for its free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone.
Descent of Dragons is Hearthstone’s 13th expansion, which was announced at BlizzCon 2019 earlier this year. The update also marks the third and final release for Blizzard's 'Year of the Dragon' celebrations.
Notably, the latest expansion pack was released during the ongoing beta test for the popular new game mode Hearthstone: Battleground.
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Descent of Dragons Expansion Details
Hearthstone's latest expansion is an aerial battle between the League of Explorers and arch villain Rafaam’s League of E.V.I.L. Descent of Dragons comes with a new Invoke keyword, a new 7-cost Hero cards, 10 new Legendary Dragon cards, Sidequests and Battlegrounds.
During gameplay, in-game characters are forced to face some of Azeroth's most powerful beasts, including its magically-inclined dragons and the newly introduced mightiest dragon named Galakrond.
Galakrond comes as a Hero card that is exclusive to the EVIL classes. Additionally, Galakrond also rises each time 5 League of E.V.I.L. classes — Shaman, Rogue, Priest, Warrior, and Warlock — are transformed through one of the five new Hero cards.
Moreover, players can use cards with Invoke to power up Galakrond, making it even more dangerous to play against. Multiple Invoke unleashes the ultimate form of the mighty dragon, Azeroth’s End.
Players also get to earn valuable rewards by completing new Sidequests with the help of Heroic Druids, Hunters, Mages and Paladins.
Further, supporting the draconic theme are new Dragon Breath cards available to each class that provides an added bonus if players are holding a dragon.
Hearthstone: Battleground Details
Hearthstone: Battlegrounds is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn, eight-player auto-battler mode where players recruit minions from various tribes, strategize and set formations as battles unfold until the last survivor is declared winner.
Additionally, the game mode comes with 24 characters called Heroes drawn from across Hearthstone history including Ragnaros the Firelord, Millificent Manastorm, and The Lich King.
Players unlock optional bonus features for this mode during gameplay by acquiring card packs. Comprehensive stat-tracking in Hearthstone: Battlegrounds is unlocked as players collect 10 packs. At 30 packs, players unlock the ability to communicate with their opponents using a visual emote system and so on.
Descent of Dragons and Hearthstone: Battleground is available on PCs supporting Windows and Mac, tablets supporting Windows, iOS, and Android, and mobile phones.
Additionally, players can also win Descent of Dragons card packs in Hearthstone’s Arena mode, and purchase them with in-game gold or by paying the same price as Hearthstone’s other card packs.
Popular Franchises to Strengthen Competitive Position
Activision’s franchise strength, exciting content and new releases make it well poised for near-term growth.
Strong popularity of Activision’s franchises like Call of Duty and Hearthstone is expected to boost in-games spending, thereby driving net bookings and top-line growth in the near term.
Additionally, Activision segment’s popular games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled and recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are expected to drive user growth ahead of the holiday season.
Moreover, Blizzard Division’s subscriber growth is primarily driven by franchises such as World of Warcraft: Classic and Overwatch League.
Further, King division is benefiting from strength in Candy Crush franchise’s popular games Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Friends Saga.
However, Activision faces significant competition from the likes of Take Two Interactive Software TTWO, Zynga ZNGA and Electronic Arts EA, among others.
EA recently launched NBA Live 20, Plants vs. Zombies, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Moreover, Take Two Interactive’s Sid Meier’s Civilization IV and Borderlands have also gained popularity. This is expected intensify competition in the video gaming space, prior to the upcoming holiday season.
Currently, Activision has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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