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Blizzard's senior audio director Russell Brower departs studio

After joining the World of Warcraft creator over a decade ago, Brower has worked on almost every single Blizzard release since The Burning Crusade expansion, including recent hits like Hearthstone and Diablo III.

Blizzard's senior audio director and in-house composer Russell Brower is departing the studio after 12 years. 

Brower broke the news in a Facebook post, and explained that he's being let go due to the success of a "sound de-centralization" initiative -- which essentially means Blizzard is tying audio staffers directly to game teams rather than maintaining a separate, dedicated audio squad.

The composer has worked on almost every single Blizzard release since the launch of The Burning Crusade in 2007, including recent hits like Hearthstone and Diablo III. 

Although the veteran maestro says there's an excellent chance he'll continue to work with Blizzard in a freelance capacity, nothing has been set in stone just yet. 

For the time being, Brower will continue to plug away at his upcoming solo album while figuring out how to move forward. 

"I'm extremely proud of the amazingly talented team I helped build and the creative output we’ve accomplished together over these past 12 years," said Brower.

"As the company has grown, the topography of the Sound team has adjusted accordingly, and the last couple of years have been no exception.

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone reading this -- all of our players, music lovers, and the countless new friends I’ve made worldwide -- for the incredible and indelible life experiences I have enjoyed while at Blizzard."

Update: The original version of this story suggested that Blizzard was moving to rely more heavily on freelance audio professionals. A Blizzard representative later stated to Gamasutra that the "de-centralization" initiative Brower mentions is instead an effort to integrate audio professional into game teams rather than relying on a separate audio department.

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