Longtime Blizzard Chief Leaving the Warcraft, Diablo Studio

"Every ending is a beginning," chief creative officer Rob Pardo says in farewell address.

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17-year Blizzard Entertainment veteran Rob Pardo, who most recently worked at the Warcraft and Diablo studio as its chief creative officer, has left the company. "Every ending is a beginning, and today marks a new beginning for me," Pardo wrote in an update on Battle.net.

He was the lead designer on the original World of Warcraft, a game that is still played by millions and millions to this day. He also worked on the Starcraft, Diablo, and non-WoW Warcraft franchises. In 2006, Pardo was featured in Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Pardo's decision to leave Blizzard, based in Irvine, California, was made after "long and careful contemplation," he said. He moves on from Blizzard to pursue the next chapter in his life and career.

"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," Pardo said. "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. Most important, now I have plenty of time to learn how to build a competitive Hearthstone deck."

What's Pardo doing next? "I don't have an answer for you yet," he said, joking that he will inform the company of his future plans "when it's ready."

"My priorities are to enjoy the summer with my family, play plenty of games, and think about what's next," he said. "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."

He's not known to be the most active Twitter user, but if you want to follow Pardo on Twitter, his handle is @Rob_Pardo. He pledged to tweet more often. Prior to joining Blizzard in 1997, Pardo spent two years at Fallout and Baldur's Gate developer Interplay.

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