Ben Brode is one of my favourite developers because of his infectious and often extremely endearing personality. It feels like he has a real passion for what he and his team are doing and he often goes on like an overenthusiastic fan about Hearthstone, a game he’s been involved with for close to a decade. He was extremely involved in the community, often making cameo appearances on popular Twitch streams about the game and just being a bit of a goofball. He was heavily involved in the creative process of Hearthstone, however, and it wasn’t always fun and games. This was a multi-million dollar franchise after all.
But all that seems to have come to an end with Brode announcing in a blog post that he is leaving Blizzard in order to pursue other ventures. He expressed his admiration and support for the Hearthstone team and how he’s comfortable leaving the game in their hands and expressing his sadness of leaving the team behind. He also recounted his highlights of working on the game and how many people he got to meet or opportunities that he was given. Brode was also part of Blizzard for close to 20 years, initially working as a nighttime tester and working his way up to Creative Director.
It’s quite a shock that Brode would just leave Blizzard behind, considering his comfortable position and long history, but adventure beckons. He said that he’ll be helping to start a new company that will “probably make games”. It seems people constantly complaining that whatever new card is OP wasn’t really scratching his creative itch, so he decided to go into something new and fresh. Regardless, best of luck to Ben Brode and I’m excited to see his bubbly face and uproarious laugh some other time.