If you were among the gamers who thought it was a little thirsty of Blizzard to finally be dishing out long-wanted changes in World of Warcraft just as the effects of a weak expansion, flopped patch, and major scandal were catching up with the game, well, this afternoon’s news won’t impress you. As part of the Hearthstone Mercenaries hoopla, Blizzard is offering several cross-promotional deals that get you loot in its different core titles.
For example, the company is encouraging gamers to sub to World of Warcraft for six months in exchange for stuff in WoW’s versions – including the Sapphire Skyblazers mount (for retail WoW) and Imp in a Ball toy (for WoW Classic) – as well as stuff in Hearthstone.
“Once you’ve purchased your subscription, you’ll receive 15 card packs to United in Stormwind, a Tavern Pass, and Battleground Perks. You’ll receive an additional 15 Mercenaries card packs with the release of Mercenaries on October 12. As an additional bonus, you’ll also receive 15 card packs from a future Hearthstone expansion along with 15 Mercenaries card packs, a Tavern Pass, and Battleground perks at a future date.”
Completing the Mercenaries tutorial in Hearthstone when it’s live will also unlock Sarge on the player’s World of Warcraft account – that’s the cute lil rat mount.
There’s a Diablo promo for Hearthstone too.
🔥 D-D-D..Diablo in Hearthstone?
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) August 31, 2021
As we’ve noted, Blizzard has lost a total of 12 million monthly active players since the beginning of 2018 across all of its games, roughly equal to 31% of its playerbase over that time. Three million of those left in 2021 alone. The next financial quarter wraps up at the end of September, so it’s logical that Blizzard is trying to get its headcount up over the next few weeks so it doesn’t take another brutal hit in the investor report come October, which is certainly possible given the massive summer scandal revolving around the sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit California filed against it in July.