Hearthstone game director and longtime Blizzard developer Ben Brode has announced that he is leaving the developer to “take a crazy risk” and help start a game development company of his own.
Brode, who has worked on Hearthstone for 10 of his 15 years at Blizzard, shared all of this in a heartfelt post on the Hearthstone forums, tracing back the path his career has taken and thanking his coworkers and the Hearthstone community for their support.
“I was 20 years old when I started here. My first role was ‘Night Crew Game Tester,” wrote Brode. “Since then, Blizzard has been good to me. I got to cast esports events, announce BlizzCons, play in Rock Bands, write raps, and work with incredible people. But the biggest opportunity came in 2008 when I joined 'Team 5.' The Hearthstone Team.”
Brode notes that, while he has enjoyed his time with the Hearthstone team, he is looking forward to stepping out of his current role and getting back to hands-on development like programming, designing, and “actually creating things again” with the studio he is helping to start.
While his post doesn’t mention who will be at the helm of Hearthstone development following his departure, Brode shared that he isn’t worried about the future of the digital card game he helped put on the map.
“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.”