Activision Blizzard ATVI is still on track to release the second Phoenix expansion for Hearthstone called Scholomance Academy in early August despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.
This will be the first time in a while that Hearthstone has gone into Azeroth's past. KelThuzad who was last seen in Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas adventure, plays the schools headmaster in Scholomance Academy.
Details of Scholomance Academy Expansion
The new expansion pack comes with 135 new cards, including 40 new dual-class cards that are usable by two classes. Each of Hearthstone's 10 classes will get paired with two others to create 10 distinct dual-class combinations of legendary professor minions.
Some of the new cards also feature the newly introduced Spellburst keyword, which sets off a single-use effect the next time a spell is cast. For instance, if a user plays the Shaman minion Diligent Notetaker immediately followed by a spell, the user will get that spell right back.
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Moreover, players can also take advantage of new Studies, which will allow them to discover a card immediately while reducing the mana cost of the next card of that type played.
The Scholomance Academy Mega Bundle costs $79.99, and includes 80 Scholomance Academy card packs, five bonus Scholomance Academy Golden Card Packs, one random Scholomance Academy Golden Legendary card, the Kel'Thuzad Mage Hero, the Kel'Thuzad card back, and a Tavern Pass, which includes four Arena tickets.
A Scholomance Academy Pre-Purchase Bundle is available for $50, which gives you 55 Scholomance Academy packs, one random Scholomance Academy Golden Legendary Card, and the Kel'Thuzad card back.
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, Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare have been huge successes. The Çall of Duty franchise is one of Activision’s major growth drivers. Notably, the game has been the top-selling console franchise for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company in 10 of the last 11 years. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Moreover, Blizzard Division’s subscriber growth is primarily driven by franchises such as World of Warcraft: Classic and Overwatch League.
Further, the 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, Nintendo NTDOY and Electronic Arts EA, among others.
Notably, Take Two’s Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold 31 million copies while Borderlands 3 shipped 10 million units worldwide as of the end of the last reported quarter. Moreover, Nintendo stated that Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which released on Mar 20, sold more than 13.41 million copies in its first six weeks.
Moreover, EA’s Apex Legends, NBA Live 20, Plants vs. Zombies, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order have also gained popularity.
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