Mike Donais is known for visiting Twitch chats of pro players once in a while, often explaining current game mechanics, as well as dropping some interesting tidbits about future updates. Today, during Dog’s Battlegrounds session, instead of fun facts or patch notes, he has dropped a massive bomb. Apparently, he’s no longer working on Hearthstone as of January. He mentioned that he’s still at Blizzard, but it seems that he’s working on another game now.
Mike has been on the Hearthstone team since 2014, and became a Lead Game Designer in 2018. Lately he’s been very involved in Battlegrounds game mode. We have no clue what he might be working on right now. Is it something related to Hearthstone? Maybe a standalone Battlegrounds game? Another known game that’s currently being developed? Or possibly some unannounced project? If you have any guesses, let us know!
Iksar has commented on the reddit post about Mike leaving HS team, pretty much confirming what he said in the chat. He, in fact, moved on from the team, but still gives design team some advice. As for the Battlegrounds, the mode will now be balanced and designed by the same team that designs regular Hearthstone cards. We’ll see how it works.
Mike is OP. He still gives us advice and just recently pitched us a robo-murloc design for battlegrounds even though he had already moved on from the team. Thanks Mike, I know we can always count on you for murloc designs and murloc related puns.
Battlegrounds is now a responsibility of the card design team, so the same team that works on expansions will now also handle content production for that game mode.
It seems that Senior Game Designer Peter Whalen has also left Hearthstone team. Together with Mike, he’s working on “something cool”. Since they can’t talk about it, it’s most likely some unannounced project, such as another game. I hope that we’ll learn more soon!
I’m doing great. Still at Blizzard, but not on Hearthstone anymore. Making something cool with Mike but we’re a long way off from talking about it in more detail.
— Peter Whalen (@LegendaryFerret) January 31, 2020