Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d need to write: This afternoon Ben Brode announced he was leaving Blizzard and the Hearthstone (Free) team. In a post he made on the Battle.net forums, Brode lays out that he’s been working on Hearthstone for almost a decade, and has been working with Blizzard since he was 20 years old. Since then Ben has very much become the face of Hearthstone, featured in countless videos, Blizzcon presentations, and many other venues. While it’s true there’s over 80 people currently working with the Hearthstone development team, for many Brode is Hearthstone, and he will be ultra difficult (if not impossible) to every fully replace.
This almost feels like writing an obituary in a sense, but, Hearthstone of course will continue being awesome for years to come and we’ve got a new thing to look forward to: Ben is helping start a new company where they will “probably" make games. Brode mentions he’s “looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again."
We’ve been covering Hearthstone since the beginning, and in some way or another working with Ben forever. I’ve got my fingers crossed that whatever his new company ends up doing somehow touches on mobile. Best of luck to Ben!