Hearthstone’s game director Ben Brode is leaving Blizzard

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In news that may make Shaman players in Hearthstone fall to their knees screaming “nooooooooooooo!” Ben Brode has announced he is parting company with Blizzard.

Players of Blizzard’s card-battling game will know Brode as Hearthstone’s game director, and the man who has penned more than a few rap songs explaining the lore behind the game.

Now, after 15 years with Blizzard and 10 helming Hearthstone, Brode has announced on the Battle.net forums that he’s decided it’s time to move on.

“I have made the incredibly difficult decision to embark on a new journey,” Brode wrote. “Man, that was a hard sentence to type.”

It was a hard sentence to read, Ben.

“I am very fortunate to be able to take a crazy risk right now in my life, and I’m excited to be scrappy and a little scared. I’m going to help start a new company,” Brode wrote. ”

“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. I’m going to miss the on-campus Starbucks, though. Dang.”

Brode also took a moment to express his pride in both his team and the impact Hearthstone has made on the industry. Since its release in 2014, Hearthstone has cemented its reputation on the esports circuit and boasts a player base of around 70 million.

“To the passionate community of players – I will miss you, and the laughs we shared together,” said Brode. “Thank you for making being a part of Hearthstone so much fun for me. I’ve loved every minute.”

We have too, Ben. And we’ll miss you terribly. (sniff)