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Rob Pardo Leaving Blizzard After 17 Years

By - Source: Rob Pardo | B 8 comments

After serving Blizzard for 17 years, World of Warcraft design lead and Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo is leaving the company. Pardo revealed his departure on Thursday in a long post on the Battle.net forums, reporting that the decision was difficult to make but exciting at the same time as he moves into the next chapter of his career.

"Before I even joined Blizzard, I was already a huge fan of the company and its games," Pardo writes. "In particular, I was extremely passionate about the emerging genre of real-time strategy games. It was a dream come true when I was given the opportunity to work on StarCraft, which at the time was being created by a very small team by today's standards. It was tremendously fulfilling to get to know everyone on the team personally and to contribute our energies toward a shared goal in such a creative and engaging environment."

Pardo's creative hand can be seen in a number of Blizzard's games. As Lead Designer, Pardo, 44, worked on StarCraft: Brood War, Warcraft III Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne, World of Warcraft and its first expansion, The Burning Crusade. As a Designer, he was involved with Diablo III, Diablo II, StarCraft, Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition, and the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft, which arrives later this year. He also served as Executive Producer on Diablo III.

"I'm looking forward to new challenges in my career, but I will always cherish the time I spent with you all and the amazing and collaborative teams at Blizzard," he writes. "It was both satisfying and humbling, and it made me a better developer and a better person. I look forward to playing Blizzard games as a player for many years to come. Most important, now I have plenty of time to learn how to build a competitive Hearthstone deck."

So what will Pardo do next career-wise? He has no idea.

"My priorities are to enjoy the summer with my family, play plenty of games, and think about what's next," he writes. "The game industry is such an exciting place right now with PC gaming thriving, the new consoles, mobile games, and virtual reality becoming an actual reality. It's like having an empty quest log and going into a new zone for the first time."

Rob Pardo could be seen as a gaming legend, right up there next to Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuk, Cliff Bleszinski, Chris Roberts and many others. He was even named as one of TIME's 100 most influential people back in 2006 for his work on World of Warcraft.

"Pardo didn't invent this kind of game (which enthusiasts refer to as "massively multiplayer"); he merely perfected it," TIME reports. "It takes an obsessive mind to make sure there's something interesting going on everywhere in an entire world, all the time, for both newbies and veteran players. If anything, he's almost too good."

To read Pardo's complete goodbye message, head here.

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Add your comment Display 8 Comments.
  • 5 Hide
    2Be_or_Not2Be , July 7, 2014 8:34 AM
    The simplicity, balance, replayability, and longevity of Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War was done very well. Hardly any RTS has stood the test of time like SC. If he contributed greatly to that, then kudos to him.

    The money from WoW will probably be seen as the biggest item on his resume, though.
  • 1 Hide
    gsxrme , July 7, 2014 9:34 AM
    He joined the Destiny Team :D 

    j/k, who really knows....
  • 6 Hide
    everlast66 , July 7, 2014 9:59 AM
    He's just leaving the sinking ship.
  • 3 Hide
    Bondfc11 , July 7, 2014 12:45 PM
    Not sure WoW represents a feather in anyone's cap - the kill, loot, rinse, repeat aspect of the gameplay is far from revolutionary and for many quite tedious and boring. Having once been on the WoWcrack for years I am pleased to say I have been WoWcrack free for over 3 years.
  • 4 Hide
    everlast66 , July 7, 2014 3:45 PM
    I still consider Warcraft II, Starcraft I and Diablo I and II best in their categories.
    WoW was also a lot of fun during its Beta stage and the first 3 months after release, but got too time consuming and boring after that.
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , July 7, 2014 6:35 PM
    Quote:
    Not sure WoW represents a feather in anyone's cap - the kill, loot, rinse, repeat aspect of the gameplay is far from revolutionary and for many quite tedious and boring. Having once been on the WoWcrack for years I am pleased to say I have been WoWcrack free for over 3 years.

    Your experience with WoW, doesn't change facts. It's still the most successful MMORPG ever created. It's also the "benchmark" for MMORPGs. Look at Rift, SWTOR....both claimed to be "WoW killers" and never even got 50% of the subscriptions. It's hard not to call that an achievement.

    The "kill, loot, rinse, repeat aspect" is common in gaming. It's been a part of gaming for decades now. Nearly every game does it in one form or another.

    Not sure I'd call Blizzard a "sinking ship" as everlast66 does.... They're currently in the process of trying to turn WoW into an MMO-RTS-RPG, which if successfully executed might be a first in PC gaming. Might even breath new life into a dieing title....
  • 1 Hide
    Bondfc11 , July 8, 2014 10:38 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Not sure WoW represents a feather in anyone's cap - the kill, loot, rinse, repeat aspect of the gameplay is far from revolutionary and for many quite tedious and boring. Having once been on the WoWcrack for years I am pleased to say I have been WoWcrack free for over 3 years.

    Your experience with WoW, doesn't change facts. It's still the most successful MMORPG ever created. It's also the "benchmark" for MMORPGs. Look at Rift, SWTOR....both claimed to be "WoW killers" and never even got 50% of the subscriptions. It's hard not to call that an achievement.

    The "kill, loot, rinse, repeat aspect" is common in gaming. It's been a part of gaming for decades now. Nearly every game does it in one form or another.

    Not sure I'd call Blizzard a "sinking ship" as everlast66 does.... They're currently in the process of trying to turn WoW into an MMO-RTS-RPG, which if successfully executed might be a first in PC gaming. Might even breath new life into a dieing title....


    I agree with your comments - it is successful, but that doesn't make it good. People loved NSync and Backstreet Boys - they going into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? To me success does not equal greatness.
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , July 9, 2014 7:04 PM
    You seem to be confusing your opinion for fact. What you consider to be a "good" game and what others consider a "good" game, varies. Obviously enough people thought the game was "good" enough for there to be 12 million active subscriptions at it's peak. At the present, WoW still has more active subscriptions than Rift or SWTOR ever managed....combined. Most of the F2P MMO's haven't seen the number of subscriptions that WoW has. When you can completely dominate a market like WoW has for almost a decade.....that's success. Every game Rob Pardo was involved in, barring D3, has been a major success. By all rights, WoW should have died off by now. The fact that it's still going as strong as it is, is a testament to the quality of the game, as perceived by it's target audience. If you don't think the game is "good"....then you're not it's target audience.
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