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Hearts of Iron 4’s game director is moving on to a secret project that’s “not Hearts of Iron 5”

Dan Lind is ready to hand over the reins, but believes HOI4 still has plenty of life left in it

Hearts of Iron IV’s upcoming No Step Back expansion doesn’t currently have a release window, but what it does have is plenty of quality of life improvements and now, apparently, a new game director.

This week’s dev diary covered some of the smaller minutiae that’s coming with the new DLC, which includes better weather, more equipment micro-management, and the news that long-standing lead Dan ‘Podcat’ Lind is stepping down. He will be handing the reins over to Peter ‘Arheo’ Nicholson, the former game director of Imperator: Rome.

Lind mentions that, after seven years leading Hearts of Iron IV (and before that a stint working on Hearts of Iron III) he feels “it's time for something new to sink my teeth into.” He can’t talk about what the new project is, but he did say at least that it wasn’t Hearts of Iron 5. Shame. “I am super pumped about it,” he said, and Lind also feels that Hearts of Iron IV has plenty of room left to develop and grow further.

The No Step Back expansion represents the final item from the initial list of design ideas Lind had back when the game first launched in 2016, so it’s a good opportunity to step back and let someone else take charge.

As for Nicholson, he stresses that while he’s excited to leave his own mark on the game, he and Lind are “very much aligned on the creative direction” for Hearts of Iron IV.

“So to pre-empt some questions, a switch in game director does not mean loot boxes, mana, or any radical shift in core design philosophy,” he says.

Coming back to the rest of the diary, the developers are overhauling the weather systems so they are more noticeable and have a more consistent effect on gameplay. They’re also introducing more management options for equipment so you can ensure your elite divisions always have access to the most up-to-date gear. Finally, the team is making it so that you can build a limited number of buildings in allied nations.

At the time of writing, Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back doesn’t have a release window.