BlizzCon 2019 is mere days away but not everyone is in the celebratory mood. Among the chaos that has been the Hong Kong controversy for Activision Blizzard following major missteps with the community including Diablo Immortal and the 800-plus layoffs that occurred, it looks like a few other key members of the development team for various titles have also departed the company.
Blizzard issued a statement that confirms that StarCraft 2 lead designer and Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder was among those that have made the decision to depart in addition to Jason Chayes, Hearthstone's production director, and former Hearthstone director Eric Dodds. Though nowhere near the scope of the layoffs that happened earlier to the company, it did cause worry for those wondering how such key roles could impact those games. Though Blizzard assures fans it was mutual and won't negatively affect anything, it is strange how bizarrely under wraps the news was.
"Yes, Eric, Dustin, and Jason made the decision to move on from Blizzard a few months ago. They have been and always will be considered members of the Blizzard family, and we’ve loved working with them over the years. We wish them the best for the future," Blizzard confirmed in a statement.
"That said, we want to make sure it’s clear that development of Blizzard games has always been a collaborative effort between many talented, longstanding teammates here continuing that good work."
With the now cancelled StarCraft shooter and the Hearthstone community in a period of transition, the moves make sense though Blizzard says the cancellation itself did not result in any layoffs. With BlizzCon 2019 just a few days away with a reported Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 reveal, it will be very interesting to see the vibe of both the community and the company itself.