Hearthstone game director August Dean Ayala has left Blizzard after 11 years with the company.
Announcing the news on Twitter (below), Ayala revealed that August 16 was his final day with the company but didn’t say what his next endeavour would be. His Twitter profile now jokingly reads “unemployed”.
“After 11 years, I am leaving Blizzard,” Ayala said in the post. “Hearthstone is an incredible game. To have played even a small part in its creation is an honour I’ll never forget. Thank you to all the players, and a special thank you to my fellow game creators. I am proud of all we built together.”
After 11 years, I am leaving Blizzard.
Hearthstone is an incredible game. To have played even a small part in its creation is an honor I’ll never forget. Thank you to all the players, and a special thank you to my fellow game creators. I am proud of all we built together. pic.twitter.com/zhc0PBuOke
— August Dean Ayala 💙 (@IksarHS) September 16, 2022
Ayala went on to thank myriad team members, past and present, alongside the Hearthstone community and friends he’s made over the 11 year stint with Blizzard.
He joined the company as a quality assurance analyst back in 2011 before moving on to a game designer role with Hearthstone in 2014. Within two years Ayala had become the lead game designer and in February this year became game director.
Hearthstone has been going strong since 2014 but has faced some criticism over its monetisation model in recent months and years, for the likes of selling a single card for $25. Looking to recapture some players who’ve fallen away from the game, however, Blizzard recently offered some up to 150 packs – valued at almost $200 – to return to the game.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.