updated 08:22 pm EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Lead World of Warcraft designer leaves company for the 'next chapter'
Rob Pardo, chief creative officer for Blizzard Entertainment, announced that he is leaving the company today after being a part of the team for 17 years. He has a number of design credits with Blizzard, including Starcraft, Diablo III and World of Warcraft. Pardo took to Battle.net to explain his departure from the company.
"After 17 years at Blizzard, with long and careful contemplation, I have made a difficult and bittersweet, but ultimately exciting decision to pursue the next chapter in my life and career," said Pardo.
In the post, Pardo says that he has plans to spend time with his family and play some games, while thinking about what is next. He doesn't know what the next step of his career will be, but he'll have an answer "when it's ready."
His goodbye statement read like a fan letter, praising the video game company and the community that has grown around it. Even though he started out as a fan of Blizzard, he grew proud of his accomplishments after seeing how passionate the entire company is about the games it puts out. Adding that the community is why the team comes to work, he said that creating for them has been "an incredible opportunity."
"I'm really proud of the contributions I was able to make to Blizzard's accomplishments," said Pardo. "From building lasting games, to supporting the growth of eSports, to extending the Warcraft world into a feature film, and of course to being able to celebrate our shared passions with the Blizzard community online and at BlizzCon."
Pardo got his start at Blizzard Entertainment after spending time at Interplay Productions. While Pardo technically started out as a game tester per an interview with GamesIndustry, he was moved up to a junior producer where he would work on a number of titles. He would later leave and join a small startup, Point of View Software, before joining Blizzard in 1997.
Under Blizzard, he would receive designer credits for Diablo II, Diablo III, Starcraft and Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition. He would be granted lead designer credits for the Starcraft: Brood War expansion, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. Pardo had been working on the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft.
Goodbye Blizzard! Thanks so much for the opportunity to contribute to the games we created together.- Rob Pardo (@Rob_Pardo) July 3, 2014