Rob Pardo

Blizzard’s Chief Creative Office Rob Pardo announced today via the Blizzard forums that he is leaving the company.

“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.

What’s he up to next? His farewell message left it up to the imagination:

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.

Pardo was a lead designer on World of Warcraft, a designer on Diablo II and III, as well as a variety of expansions. This isn’t quite as big as Cliff Bleszinksi leaving Epic or the Doctors leaving BioWare, but he’s certainly a notable member of Blizzard’s team and we’re looking forward to seeing what he ends up working on next.