Hearthstone Director Announces His Departure, Says New Card Types Are Coming

In this week’s episode of Podcast Coin Grant, Hearthstone game director Ben Lee has announced that he is leaving the team to work on a different, unannounced project within Blizzard. Lee also outlined a number of changes players can expect from Hearthstone in 2022.

Lee has been Hearthstone’s Game Director since late 2018, during which time he oversaw a number of major changes to the long-running CCG, including the implementation of Hearthstone’s “Rewards Track” season pass system. While he was initially furious at the perceived reductions in player rewards, after some tweaking, the Rewards Track is now a widely accepted part of Hearthstone.

Lee’s tenure as director also included the introduction of the Demon Hunter class, and his time leading the team was characterized by a more regular pace of balance updates and greater responsiveness to player feedback. With less success, following his problematic ad, Mercenaries mode has been widely considered a scent. On the business side, new forms of monetization have also increased substantially, with cosmetics being added to the main modes – Standard and Battlegrounds – at a bewildering rate.

While unsure, many in the Hearthstone community believe Lee has joined the same unannounced project as Hearthstone veterans Mike Donais and Peter Whalen. Given the experience of these developers, it would be reasonable to assume that this upcoming game will offer hybrid CCG-RPG gameplay similar to Hearthstone. Hearthstone Content Creator RegisKillbinspeculates that it might even be a CCG-roguelike, a Blizzard version of Slay the Spire.

As an aside, Blizzard has a different ‘unannounced’ game in the works, except it’s actually been announced: the studio is working on a survival game currently known only as the “Unannounced Survival Game”. Those working on the survival project have identified, however if Lee had been making the leap into a new genre he probably would have said so.

The interview also contained some information about Hearthstone’s past and future, including the tantalizing revelation that this year’s expansion was almost a cooking show. That didn’t happen, but Lee mentioned that Hearthstone will receive several new types of cards over the next year, stating: we’re experiencing these are really interesting and fun.”

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t offer any details beyond that, but Lee expanded the team’s thinking a bit: types, so I hope players like them and we’re looking forward to hearing what they think.”

So far, Hearthstone has only had four card types, with the newest, heroes, having been introduced in 2017. The introduction of several new card types in the same year would likely have a substantial effect on the way the game is played. .

Despite its age, Lee also noted that Hearthstone continues to maintain a huge player base and earns more money than many AAA games, despite a backdrop of serious and shocking claims about endemic workplace harassment at Blizzard that came out last year.

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