Update, April 23: Hearthstone's executive producer has also left Blizzard.
Hamilton Chu, executive producer on Hearthstone, has left Blizzard Entertainment. His departure came on the same day as game director Ben Brode.
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Chu announced that he would be leaving the company in a much simpler way than Brode. While the latter wrote a lengthy post describing his time at the company beneath a tweet announcing his last day, Chu simply replied to that same tweet to say "Weird! It was [my last day] too..."
The pair have both set their Twitter bios to read "starting up something new," making it abundantly clear that Chu will also be a part of the new company that Brode left Blizzard to start.
Chu has been far less front-facing in his role than Brode has been in his, as his former job revolved more around planning and strategy. He also worked as head of Blizzard's strategic initiatives group, where he helped contribute to World of Warcraft, and managed Blizzard's creative development department.
Original story, April 20: After 15 years with the company, Ben Brode has left Blizzard. The Hearthstone director has announced that today will be his last day with the team. He’s leaving to help start a new company, one which will “probably make games,” but any official announcements there are likely far in the future.
Brode says a lengthy goodbye on the official Battle.net forums, discussing his time with company. He started as a tester at the age of 20, eventually moving on to ‘Team 5’ in 2008 - the Hearthstone team.
“I am very proud of Hearthstone,” Brode says. “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.”
Brode adds that he gets “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.”
Today is my last day at Blizzard. Thank you for all the laughter and fun we shared. I will miss you.https://t.co/YKfNpg6WUs
— Ben Brode (@bdbrode) April 20, 2018
Of his new venture, Brode says it’s “a crazy risk,” specifying that he will “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.”