Hearthstone game director Ben Brode has shockingly announced that he is leaving Blizzard after 15 years with the legendary studio.
“After 15 years at Blizzard and almost 10 years working on Hearthstone, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to embark on a new journey,” said Brode on the Blizzard forums. “I am very fortunate to be able to take a crazy risk right now in my life, and I’m excited to be scrappy and a little scared. I’m going to help start a new company. We’ll probably make games, but we haven’t figured anything else out, yet. I’m looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again. I’m going to miss the on-campus Starbucks, though. Dang.”
The Hearthstone community has taken this news to heart. Ben Brode has long been the “face” of Hearthstone. He’s usually the first person to reveal a new expansion for the game, and his annual Blizzcon presentations are consistently among the most entertaining. He’s famous for his contagious laughter which is usually on full display during the reveal stream for a new Hearthstone expansion.
Brode is certainly aware of his status in the Hearthstone community and wants fans to know that while he may be leaving, Hearthstone should remain as great as ever.
“I get too much credit by virtue of being a public face, but the 80+ people on the development team are still there, and they are the ones actually making the cards, brawls, events, missions, and features,” said Brode. “I am confident the game is in the best possible hands, and I’m excited to see where a new generation of leaders takes Hearthstone from here.”
This news is made all the more intriguing by Hearthstone executive producer Hamilton Chu’s recent decision to also leave Blizzard. The current theory is that the two are going to work on a new CCG game. Some believe they might join an existing CCG project – such as the one a tiny company named Valve is working on – but those reports are unconfirmed at this time.
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Brode at PAX East about the latest Hearthstone expansion and will certainly miss being able to do so again whenever the next Hearthstone release hits.