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Hearthstone hits 20 million players in just six months

Just six months after Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft went into full release on the PC, Blizzard has announced that the free-to-play collectible card has racked up 20 million players.

"Thank you all for joining us in Hearthstone!" Blizzard tweeted earlier today. "We're going to need a bigger tavern!"

To be fair, Hearthstone was halfway to that number when it left beta testing in March, but that still represents a doubling of the audience in a remarkably short period of time. That puts it well past Blizzard's other behemoth, World of Warcraft, which had slid to less than seven million users as of August. That may not be entirely fair as a direct comparison—WoW is subscription-based and demands a far greater commitment in both time and teamwork—but it does provide some context to the scale of the achievement.

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A more apt comparison might be to League of Legends, and Hearthstone still has some ground to cover to catch up with it, as Riot Games says 27 million people play LoL every day , with more than 7.5 million playing simultaneously during peak play time. It's a big gap but not insurmountable: The Android and iOS versions of Hearthstone are scheduled to come out before the end of the year. And if Blizzard can monetize Hearthstone at a better rate than League of Legends, which Teut Weidemann of Ubisoft Blue Byte said in August is actually quite low , it might actually prove to be an even more lucrative property, sooner than anyone expects.