Hearthstone designer Dave Kosak leaves Blizzard

Dave "Fargo" Kosak, lead mission designer and one of the best known members of the Hearthstone team, has left Blizzard after a 12-year stint with the Warcraft-maker. (Kosak is the one on the left in the thumbnail for the video above announcing the game's latest expansion.)

The Hearthstone and World Of Warcraft designer, who's credited with creating the Kobolds in Catacombs dungeon run and also had the original idea for the infamous Patches The Pirate card—a "pirate who’s a beholder, which was hilarious to all of us in the room"—announced his departure on Twitter this week. Kosak is moving to a leading role at Deviation Games, a new LA-based studio.

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Prior to joining Blizzard, Kosak was a co-founder and creative director at Gamespy, where he ran a pair of fairly popular Warcraft-themed webcomics: Flintlocke’s Guide to Azeroth and Flintlocke vs. The Horde. He came on board as a designer in World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm—even sneaking his Dwarf OC Flintlocke into the Twilight Highlands as a quest giver.

Kosak would eventually become lead narrative designer on the MMO, before jumping over to Blizzard's internal Team 5 in 2016 as lead mission designer on a little game called Hearthstone. After director Ben Brode jumped ship in 2018, Kosak took his place as the de-facto public face of Blizzard's card-shuffler.

Now that he's left, Kosak says he'll be taking on an "important role" at Deviation Games—a fairly new outfit that's yet to announce what it's working on. "I can’t say any more," Kosak explains, "but I promise it’ll make you go 'whoa.'"

Kosak isn't the only former Blizzard dev trying their luck at new ventures, mind. Former vice president and actual Orc Chris Metzen just announced new tabletop studio Warchief, while fellow exec alumni Mike Morhaime lifted the curtain on Dreamhaven in September.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.