It’s a tumultuous time for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft-inspired digital card game. A new in-game year has ticked around, causing its metagame to dramatically shift, especially with the introduction of its latest expansion The Witchwood. Devoted players are voicing dismay with certain buggy interactions in the new set that devs admitted to knowing about before release and are now scrambling to implement a fix for. On top of these growing pains, a new game mode is being released next week. Sounds like the developers have their work cut out for them!
For the famously boisterous game director Ben Brode, however, it’s time to put his cards on the table. After fifteen years at Blizzard, he’s leaving for a simpler life, or at least one where he’s not leading a team of more than 80 staff.
“I’m going to help start a new company. We’ll probably make games, but we haven’t figured anything else out, yet,” he said in his official post on the Blizzard forums.
In his time working on Hearthstone, beginning as a member of the design team before becoming head designer, Brode had become a significant presence in the community, starring in several official videos and streams launching new game content. And we have to make mention of his rap videos explaining the Warcraft lore behind new Hearthstone expansions. They’re better than they sound. Really.
Who will fill Ben Brode’s shoes, and will they have the rhymes to measure up? Blizzard have yet to publicly announce a successor, but whoever they are they clearly have a lot of work to do to keep Hearthstone ticking along smoothly.