Rob Pardo, the chief creative officer at blizzard entertainment broke news today that he is leaving blizzard. You can check out his post here. This is a very big departure for the company at a time when most people might say they need some help to begin with. Many people might ask who Rob is, or was as the case may be, at blizzard and that is because his name does not roll off the tongue the way ghostcrawlers did but trust me when I say he is just as if not more important to the development of games, not just warcraft, at blizzard.
We will not know what his future is until he decides to share that information with us and quite honestly I am sure when the time comes, as it seems he is taking the summer off, most people will have forgotten who is was so we might never know unless someone brings it up. He was not the social butterfly like Greg was, at least not that I ever noticed.
I have this feeling, with absolutely no justification behind it or inside information, that his departure is akin to rats scurrying from a sinking ship. He had been with the company for 17 years which is a life time in this industry so it is completely believable that he could just be looking for a change. Also with his resume I am sure finding a new job will not take long and I would not be surprised if he does not have a few offers already sitting in his inbox after this was made public, so do not read anything into the fact he left without having another job, or at least he made it sound that way, like some people on the forums are sure to jump to the conclusion of. I can already hear the sounds of fan boys yelling he got fired and even if it is possible he did I would not be so sure of that.
But that is the question I would want to ask because I made a post a few weeks ago about management at blizzard and it was their fault, completely, for the failure to release warlords sooner. I still stand firmly behind that belief. Do you think this change can breath new life into the game?
Shaking up the management system will surely have an effect on what we as players can expect in the future and when we can expect it. As many people have said, myself included, it was time for some new blood in the top spots at blizzard and Rob stepping down allows someone else to get into one of those top of the top spots.
It would be a long time before we see any trickle down effect from changes at the top of the management pyramid because what is going on will continue to move forward, but come the future we might see some new and interesting changes because of it.
Some speculation you can be sure to see in the near future in threads about this will be if he felt pushed out because of the advanced negative publicity of warlords and the perceived, even if wrongly so, extremely late release of it and game sweeping changes that keep creating more and more negativity in the camp of blizzards flagship game. I wonder that a little myself. Was all this weighing on him, it is part of why he left, only he knows and only he can tell us, but it is an interesting question because I know in his place I might have started to look elsewhere myself with how badly we, the players and community, have been responding to what he and so many worked so hard for. This industry and the passionate players in it can be brutal on the people that they think are hurting it, right or wrong.
Is it a case of fleeing a sinking ship or is it a case of just moving on after 17 years in one place? What do you think?
I wish Rob the best of luck and hope he enjoys his summer. Maybe I'll see him again in another game.