- Ben Lee, director of Heartstone, is leaving the team to work on an unannounced Blizzard game;
- It is possible that the developer will use his experience to create an RPG with card game elements;
- An alternative to Ben Lee could be another unannounced project by Blizzard, said to be a survival game.
During the Coin Concede podcast director Ben Lee admitted that he will be finishing his work on Hearthstone to tackle a yet-to-be-announced project from Blizzard Entertainment. The experienced developer leaves his team after more than 3 years, during which fans of the popular card game could count on frequent updates and novelties (not always warmly received).
"I'm working on Hearthstone for almost 3.5 years now, it's been an honor and pleasure to work on the game, but I'm going to be leaving the team."
The director did not reveal any details about the mysterious production, although the community centered around the Californian studio has some suspicions about it.
Blizzard Entertainment may be working on an RPG with card game elements
- Ben Lee said that the transition from Hearthstone to a new project have been ongoing "for some time."
- A similar path has been followed by Mike Donais and Peter Whalen. Both left the team responsible for the card game and worked on an unannounced game. It is possible that the three will use their experience to create a hybrid of CCG (Collectible Card Games) and RPG.
- This is what is assumed by RegisKillbin, sharing his observations on YouTube. In his opinion the mysterious project may turn out to be a CCG-roguelike title.
Survival game from Blizzard
It is possible that Ben Lee will go in a completely different direction. His vague statement may also indicate that he will join the team responsible for the mysterious survival game, which is also waiting for an official announcement. The project has been in development since 2017, and people previously associated with World of Warcraft are said to be involved. If this turns out to be true, Ben Lee would come under the wing of veteran lead designer Craig Amai.
According to Blizzard studio head Mike Ybarra, the title is already playable. So it's possible that work on the survival project is at an advanced stage.
The future of Hearthstone
During the podcast Ben Lee also referred to the future of Hearthstone, announcing the arrival of new card types (currently, they are divided into minions, spells, weapons and heroes). He also stressed that he is excited about the interesting changes the team is experimenting with.
"We wanted to try some really interesting things to push the game in a slightly different direction, with some interesting new approaches to card types [...]"
Lee has hinted that his role on the team will be taken over by Nathan Lyons-Smith, currently serving as executive producer.
- Hearthstone - official website
- Blizzard Entertainment - official website