Blizzard’s Chief Creative Officer is now their former Chief Creative Officer, as Rob Pardo announces his departure after 17 years at the company. Pardo was lead designer on World of Warcraft and StarCraft: Brood War, as well as a designer on Diablo II and III. If you had to select a key member of staff at Blizzard, before today that figure would probably have been Rob Pardo.
In his departure post on the Battle.net forums, Pardo calls his decision to leave “difficult and bittersweet but ultimately exciting.”
For now, he’s not sharing any details about future plans, beyond a desire to “enjoy the summer with my family, play plenty of games, and think about what’s next.” He describes the game industry as an exciting place and puts specific emphasis on PC gaming “thriving,” which suggests Pardo fully intends to return to game design after a bit of a break. He mentions mobile games too, but let’s not panic about that just yet.
An earlier part of his open letter talks about how his passion for real-time strategy games, meant that getting a job with Blizzard to work on StarCraft was a “dream come true.”
I’m really proud of the contributions I was able to make to Blizzard’s accomplishments. 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.
Nothing lasts forever in gaming, but as with John Carmack leaving id Software earlier in the year, this departure feels like one of the last veterans of the “peak Blizzard” years leaving the company.
Pardo signs off with his twitter account, saying that further updates and news of his upcoming plans will be announced through there. At present he’s being inundated by well-wishing messages from fans and (understandably) getting quite emotional about it all.
So much love today from everyone. I'm getting pretty choked up reading all the messages from y'all
— Rob Pardo (@Rob_Pardo) July 3, 2014