Blizzard Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Rob Pardo is departing the company after 17 years. Pardo began with Blizzard in 1997 and helped design games like Warcraft III, World of Warcraft (and its many expansions), StarCraft, Diablo, and Hearthstone. Pardo has indicated that the departure from Blizzard is an amicable one.
"I'm really proud of the contributions I was able to make to Blizzard's accomplishments," Pardo said on Battle.net. "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. The Blizzard community is ultimately the reason why we come to work every day and pour our souls into every world and experience we create. Blizzard's players are the most passionate in the world and your commitment and dedication are truly awesome to behold. Creating entertainment for you has been an incredible opportunity, and I know that you will continue to grow and become even stronger as a community over the years to come. It has been so meaningful on a personal level to help create joy for all of you."
Pardo's full resume (from Moby Games) is an impressive one, having prominently helped develop all of Blizzard's marquee titles. He first began with the company as a Lead Designer, shortly after Interplay was absorbed in the late 90s.
Pardo will take some time away from the gaming business this summer before making any decisions on his next venture.