Hearthstone’s new musical short won over players and Blizzard fans alike this week, but its starring characters aren’t going to be appearing in the game itself. Instead, they’ll be featured in other media.
“The characters that you’re introduced to [in the short] will become reoccurring characters in the life of Hearthstone,” art director Ben Thompson told Polygon at Gamescom. “They’re of Hearthstone, but they’re not in Hearthstone. They’re players like yourselves. They experience expansions at the same time that we experience expansions.”
Although they won’t make it into the mobile and PC game, the animation’s original characters — like the adorable Ava, the mouse Sarge and an orc named Urk — will continue to appear in additional animated shorts. They’ll also be the leads in an upcoming series of Hearthstone comics, Thompson said.
Think of this as a similar to the way that Blizzard has expanded Overwatch’s universe in several ways outside of the main game. And if Hearthstone’s new animated shorts program helps broaden its player base, that’s a win-win for the developer.
“It really was meant to be a fun way to view our world, [even] be it for the first time,” said Thompson. “‘Epically charming’ has always been the byword for Hearthstone.”