Dean “Iksar” Ayala, Hearthstone’s Game Director, Is Leaving Blizzard

In a rather short statement, August Dean “Iksar” Ayala announced his departure from Blizzard after 11 years.

Iksar has previously worked as QA on Blizzard titles such as Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, before joining the Hearthstone team in a designer role back in 2014. He became a Lead Designer a few years ago, and roughly six months ago took over the role of Game Director after Ben Lee moved to another project at Blizzard. It’s hard to say what kind of impact his time as Game Director had on Hearthstone because it was rather brief and most of the decisions made during his tenure wouldn’t even come to fruition yet.

Dean was always very communicative – many players know him from his Q&A sessions on Twitter, where he shared a lot of info about what’s going on behind the scenes, his design philosophy, as well as the future plans for Hearthstone.

We will miss you, Dean. Wishing you all the best with your future projects!

Sadly, we don’t have any information about who will take over his role as the next Hearthstone Game Director, but we’ll share it as soon as we find out.


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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