Originally released in March 2014 by Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone continues to dominate the online collectible card game genre. But as the beloved game keeps moving forward with updates and new content, it will now do so without one of the game’s original designers, Ben Brode.
As it was a typical form of communication from the game’s director, Brode took to the Battle.net forum to announce his decision to leave Blizzard, after nearly fifteen years of being with the company.
In the post, Brode stated that he was leaving to help start a new company, and while the new company will likely make games, no other details were included. He did mention that the new endeavor would be “scrappy”, as most new start-ups tend to be. He also expressed his excitement about truly being back in the trenches, stating, “I’m looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again.”
Being one of the members of the original Hearthstone development team - created nearly ten years ago - Brode has been one of the primary public faces for the game. Anything relating to Blizzcon, eSports events, social media, or other activities involving the Hearthstone community - you can bet that Ben Brode was involved in some way. Getting back to his roots as a developer and getting his hands dirty is probably a welcome, and refreshing change.
Brode’s heartfelt mention of the eighty-plus person Hearthstone development team stood out in the post, in which Brode expressed a sincere appreciation for the team and everything they have done and continue to do for the gaming industry.
“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, and I’m excited to see where a new generation of leaders takes Hearthstone from here.”
So, what is next for a post-Brode Blizzard, and more specifically, Hearthstone itself? The game recently released its latest expansion, “The Witchwood”, allowing players to enter the forest on the trail of Hagatha the Witch. Additionally, the expansion’s free, single-player missions entitled “Monster Hunt”, go live on April 26. Coupled with the fact that the game maintains a firm hold on its place within the eSports community, it is safe to say the Hearthstone is in a good place and, as Brode stated in his post, is in very capable hands.