Blizzard Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer and former Lead Designer of World of Warcraft, Rob Pardo has left the company.
Pardo joined Blizzard back in 1998 to work on StarCraft, but he is most known as one of the lead designers for World of Warcraft. He also served as a design director for games like Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, and Executive Producer for titles like Diablo 3 and Hearthstone.
"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 wrote in his farewell message on Battle.net "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. 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."
In his 17 years at Blizzard, Pardo played key roles in the overall design in many of the firm's franchises, such as Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft. Pardo's decision to leave the Irvine studio was made after "long and careful contemplation."
Pardo stated that he has no immediate plants for the future. For the time being, his 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."