Hearthstone director Ben Brode is leaving Blizzard. Brode announced his departure on the official Hearthstone blogs where he said that he will be helping start a new company, though details aren't clear exactly as to what this new company will be doing.
"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," Brode writes in the blog post announcing his departure.
Today is my last day at Blizzard. Thank you for all the laughter and fun we shared. I will miss you.https://t.co/YKfNpg6WUs— Ben Brode (@bdbrode) April 20, 2018
Brode was one of the first members of Team 5, the internal development team that created Hearthstone at Blizzard Entertainment. Originally a night QA tester for Blizzard on games like World of WarCraft, Brode later worked on the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game before being brought on to develop Blizzard's own card game, Hearthstone.
Brode became director of Hearthstone in 2016, replacing Eric Dodd. Brode was previously Senior Designer and then Lead Designer on Hearthstone before taking the director position. Brode and Dodd designed several of the game's core mechanics which still exist in the game to this day, although as director Brode oversaw many of the game's creative and technical directions.
Known for rapping and publicizing much of Hearthstone, Brode is very much the public face of Hearthstone. He is often seen appearing in various online videos and trailers whenever a new Hearthstone expansion is coming to help get the word out to fans.
"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. I am confident the game is in the best possible hands," Brode says.
Not much is known about Brode's next venture other than the fact that he'll "probably make games."
In our coverage of Hearthstone we've had the opportunity to speak with Brode on a couple of occasions most recently when we got to speak to Brode about the new Witchwood expansion. For more, you can check out our Witchwood guide to learn more about the latest Hearthstone adventure.