Hearthstone director Ben Brode is leaving Blizzard

Today marks the end of an era over at Blizzard HQ. Ben Brode, who most will recognize as the director and public face of Hearthstone, has announced that he's leaving the company. Brode has served as the director of Hearthstone since development first got underway, so as a result, a lot of people in the Hearthstone community know who he is.

Brode announced his departure from Blizzard in a letter posted to the company's forums earlier today. Brode spends most of the letter talking about his time creating Hearthstone, which he's been working on since 2008. He thanks the Hearthstone community – which has grown insanely large since the game was first introduced – along with his team and Blizzard for giving him the opportunity to head up development on the game.

So, what's next for Brode? We're not entirely sure. He says that he's at a point in his life where he can "take a crazy risk," and says that he's going to help start a new company. Though he doesn't specifically say what this company will do, he notes that it will probably make games, and that he's looking forward to acting as a designer again – something that he probably didn't have much opportunity to do as the director of one of Blizzard's biggest games.

As for who's going to replace him as Hearthstone director, Blizzard hasn't announced that just yet. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the game once a new director takes the reins – though we probably won't see the game change too drastically, there's always the chance that it makes some small shifts in direction once it falls under someone else's leadership.

Brode's departure from Blizzard is big news for the company, as he's worked there for 15 years at this point. He's also been one of Blizzard's most visible game directors, and with a game as big as Hearthstone, having someone who doesn't mind getting out in front of the community is a big thing indeed. It'll be interesting to see what Ben Brode does next, so you can bet that we'll be keeping an eye out for news from his new company.