Hearthstone’s Game Director Ben Brode has taken to Reddit to discuss Blizzard’s "Designer Insights" video series, speaking of his enjoyment for the videos — which he shoots at home after his child has gone to sleep — and the reluctance of the rest of the team to appear in the videos, stating
"I love doing videos, and I think I can convince more of the team to get involved, so it’s not just me," he writes on Reddit. "Not everyone is as excited about being a public face as Yong and I are, though – there is a lot of harassment that comes with being more public."
He’s referring to Hearthstone’s senior producer Yong Woo, who’s also a well known public face in the card battlers community.
This has been a long running problem, and Brode isn’t the first to discuss it. In 2013 Treyarch design director David Vonderhaar received death threats over a patch changed the reload time of a weapon slightly in FPS Call of Duty: Black Ops II. At the time, Ken Levine publicly warned this was the way the industry was going, and we’ve seen fan backlash affect developers in different ways since; including the infamous incident where fans convinced Bioware to change the ending of Mass Effect 3 after voicing their displeasure loudly and repeatedly through every medium available to them.
Still, Brode hopes his team will come around, with the Hearthstone team currently working on a permanent space for video production, which he hopes will encourage other team members to be more involved with the on camera side of community relations.
in a post by a moderator on the Hearthpwn forums, which was picked up — along with the Reddit thread with Brode’s comments — by PCGamesN, a moderator known as Fluxflashor has responded to Brode’s comments:
“Although you may not agree with certain philosophies that the team may have about the game, it is important to post with respect and stay constructive. We should be welcoming communication first and foremost, so let’s make that more of a priority this year and not feed those who want to cast plagues upon the creators. On the moderation side we can only do so much since we’re only one site of many within the community, but as a whole, we need to stop letting the really toxic posts stew.”