Rob Pardo bids a bittersweet farewell to Blizzard after 17 years

Rob Pardo leaves Blizzard

“Every ending is a beginning and today marks a new beginning for me,” Blizzard’s chief creative officer Rob Pardo wrote as he began his farewell letter. Today, one of the industry’s most influential developers leaves the company he’s been with since 1997. 

“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,” Pardo continued as he said goodbye to Blizzard’s community. 

He cut his teeth at Blizzard as a designer on StarCraft, becoming lead designer on Brood Wars. Pardo was also lead designer on Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. “Blizzard Entertainment has been simply the best place in the world to be a game designer,” he wrote. “The best aspect of designing games at Blizzard is that the entire company is passionate about the gameplay within each and every product.”

He is leaving Blizzard on a high note though. World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, is in beta; Diablo III has been given a new lease on life, after a problematic beginning; and Hearthstone is one of ballsiest things Blizzard has ever done, and continues to be a success.

He’s not ready to say what his plans for the future are yet. “As to what I will be doing next, I don’t have an answer for you yet . . . but I will “when it’s ready.” My priorities are to enjoy the summer with my family, play plenty of games, and think about what’s next. 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.”

A loss for Blizzard, to be sure, but it’s going to be interesting to see what he does next.