Ben Brode is Leaving Blizzard After Almost 10 Years of Working on Hearthstone

Wow, huge news that seems very all of a sudden, but Ben Brode is leaving Blizzard. We’re very sad to see him go, he has been a constant positive presence on the Hearthstone team and has been a huge part of the success with the game. Here’s his letter to the community:

To my friends, coworkers, and the Hearthstone community,

After 15 years at Blizzard and almost 10 years working on Hearthstone, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to embark on a new journey.

Man, that was a hard sentence to type.

I was 20 years old when I started here. My first role was ‘Night Crew Game Tester.’

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.

I am very proud of Hearthstone. I think we made an impact on the industry. People tell me that Hearthstone brought their family closer together, or that they became close friends with people they met at a Fireside Gathering. Others tell me they were inspired by Hearthstone to become game developers themselves. It’s incredible to be a part of something that touches so many people.

But as proud as I am of Hearthstone, I am even more proud of the team.

There is no team like the Hearthstone team. People have come and gone over the 10 years Hearthstone has been in development, but there’s something special about the Soul of the Team. We knew our most important product wasn’t the game, but the team itself. A great team can do great things, and I think the Hearthstone team is the greatest. It isn’t just a job. It’s a shared passion. We get to come to work and focus on the game we love and try to make it better every day.

We frequently check the Hearthstone subreddit looking for opportunities to improve the game. I have loved the silly memes, engaging in spirited debates, or even just being held accountable to our shared high standards for the game. We try to be highly available on social media, and I think our team helped push the envelope in this regard. It has been especially satisfying to me to see the team step up over the last few years and help engage in these ways as I became more focused on direction and less on actual design.

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.

I am very fortunate to be able to take a crazy risk right now in my life, and I’m excited to be scrappy and a little scared. I’m going to help start a new company. We’ll probably make games, but we haven’t figured anything else out, yet. I’m looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again. I’m going to miss the on-campus Starbucks, though. Dang.

Blizzard, thank you for taking a chance on me, and thank you for taking a chance on Hearthstone. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

And to the passionate community of players – I will miss you, and the laughs we shared together. Thank you for making being a part of Hearthstone so much fun for me. I’ve loved every minute.


Ben Brode


Leave a Reply


  1. ShadowMorde
    April 25, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Sad news, i feel like he was the heart of the game, he will be hard to replace…

  2. Chris
    April 24, 2018 at 12:14 am

    As a former hearthstone player, this is pretty big news. I don’t hate the game, it’s just I couldn’t keep up with everything. Good luck Ben.

  3. Pandamonium
    April 23, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Seems like a bit of an arrogant decision. Always chasing the greener grass. Maybe stick with your creation and try to make it better. Unlike LeBron, your old team won’t take you back when you feel like coming back, and the team you’re leaving for isn’t exactly a more prestigious opportunity. Like if I’m Ben’s personal finance manager/accountant/life coach, I’m saying “bad, reckless life decision”. Mid-life crisis? I’m sure Blizzard would have liked you to not bite the hand that has fed so much and left without even 2 weeks notice. That’s a shame. Most grown-ups who make it to a top-level position at a top-tier company act like it and are happy with that being their occupation. Some people have a hard time just getting by, but people like Ben think everything will always just fall into their lap. Arrogant.

    • David Lucas
      April 23, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Wow — you seem to be projecting an awful lot. You sound amazingly bitter. Perhaps you are insider and I’m off base…but what makes you think that he is leaving without giving notice or that he is making a bad decision? I’d rather own 100% of my own dream than 3% of someone else’s. By your reasoning, Steve Jobs should never have left Atari.

      You don’t strike me as someone who has ever taken a risk or accomplished something challenging, much less led a large team to success. I applaud Ben’s work and wish him well in his future endeavors.

  4. anton
    April 23, 2018 at 5:13 am

    He is and will always be a legend and a face for the game. Im happy to see him follow his dreams though! Well Met

  5. NO
    April 23, 2018 at 3:51 am

    Ben was the perfect face to bring in casuals(The people that make the game possible/profitable) and to make everyone forget how random this game actually is.

    • Programmer
      April 23, 2018 at 5:16 am

      exactly. As a card game, it is really bad designed.
      The RNG is too much, it was alwyas unneeded. It’s very frustrating to lose to RNG, and this frustration makes you purchase more packs

  6. Penoyer79
    April 22, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Weird that this happened so suddenly.
    I have to wonder if Internal politics/creative differences had anything to do with it.

    • Programmer
      April 23, 2018 at 5:13 am

      It’s very simple.
      It’s a typical american style behaviour. The game is at its plateau, there is no innovation anymore, and he goes away “as a winner”

  7. battlephase
    April 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

    i gonna miss his laugh

  8. Alexandros Soulis
    April 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    JOB’S DONE :'(
    We ‘ll miss you Ben <3

  9. Alsozatch
    April 21, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Ok now that you aren’t working for Blizzard reveal to us the next 3 expansions

  10. Benjaxoul
    April 21, 2018 at 8:42 am


  11. Fuad Juman
    April 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Forever a great influence and an awesome personality. I’m glad Ben helped make hearthstone and i really wish him well on his future endeavors even if he won’t see this.

  12. Moralof
    April 20, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Nooooo Uncle Ben

  13. Gitaxis
    April 20, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    You will be missed. I wish you luck on your next journey, wherever it may take you.

  14. Epoch
    April 20, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Thank you Ben for all you passion and entusiasm! You and HS gave us an amazing journey which is far from over, and we will never forget you laughts, post, rap an most of all your card reveal streams! HS nowerdays is the BEST card game in my opinion and that is a big part of your work sir!

    Wish you all the best!!! And good luck in your projects!

    P.S. you will be missed & WELL MET! ?

  15. MooPenguin32
    April 20, 2018 at 11:46 am

    I will definitely miss Ben.

  16. Dudeman805
    April 20, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Ben Brode, thank you for all of your time, effort, and hard work that you put into hearthstone. It is sad to see you go, however i am glad you are doing what you want to do and are passionate about doing…..Good Luck my friend & God Bless…..-Kevin aka Dudeman805

  17. Opacho
    April 20, 2018 at 10:41 am

    or finally

  18. Pavlett
    April 20, 2018 at 10:39 am

    well met ! :/

  19. Pure
    April 20, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Thanks man for everything hearthstone rox!

  20. Shaoxia57
    April 20, 2018 at 10:13 am

    You will be missed Ben!

  21. Livestrong
    April 20, 2018 at 10:13 am

    no way!