MMO-Champion - Rob Pardo Leaving Blizzard Entertainment
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Rob Pardo Leaving Blizzard Entertainment
Originally Posted by Rob Pardo (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Every ending is a beginning and today marks a new beginning for me.

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.

Before I even joined Blizzard, I was already a huge fan of the company and its games. In particular, I was extremely passionate about the emerging genre of real-time strategy games. It was a dream come true when I was given the opportunity to work on StarCraft, which at the time was being created by a very small team by today’s standards. It was tremendously fulfilling to get to know everyone on the team personally and to contribute our energies toward a shared goal in such a creative and engaging environment.

Blizzard Entertainment has been simply the best place in the world to be a game designer. The best aspect of designing games at Blizzard is that the entire company is passionate about the gameplay within each and every product. From the executive team to customer service to our global offices, every single person is a player and contributes to making the best possible games. It’s for very good reason that the first credit on every Blizzard game is “Game Design by Blizzard Entertainment.”

I’m really proud of the contributions I was able to make to Blizzard’s accomplishments. 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.

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

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.

In the past, I haven’t been the most avid Twitter user, but I’ll strive to do better and keep you updated there—@Rob_Pardo. Please stay in touch!

Rob
This article was originally published in forum thread: Rob Pardo Leaving Blizzard Entertainment started by chaud View original post
Comments 609 Comments
  1. jason1975's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lolercaust View Post
    I don't agree with adding homosexual characters or storylines purely for the sake of pushing boundaries or getting respect from progressive communities. If Blizzard sees fit to add a homosexual character, I trust them to do so in a way that fits logically into the story, and I would enjoy experiencing such a story. I get enough of the LGBTQ movement shoved down my throat as it is so if WoW is going to give me the same business it better be palatable.
    One way to determine if your argument holds water is to flip the point of view and see where it lands. Like this:

    "I don't agree with adding heterosexual male characters or storylines purely for the sake of pushing boundaries or getting respect from male fanboi gamers. If Blizzard sees fit to add a male heterosexual character, I trust them to do so in a way that fits logically into the story, and I would enjoy experiencing such a story. I get enough of the male heterosexual dominant culture shoved down my throat as it is so if WoW is going to give me the same business it better be palatable."

    So what did we learn about the original argument from this exercise?

    1. It assumes that Male Heterosexual characters are the default value.
    2. It assumes that only having male heterosexual characters is somehow a "neutral" value, rather than affirming a particular world view (in this case that only male heterosexual's are important and have stories anyone would be interested in).
    3. It's naively at odds with the real world (50% of which are women)

    Take the long weekend and give it a think . . . happy 4th.
  1. Lolercaust's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jason1975 View Post
    One way to determine if your argument holds water is to flip the point of view and see where it lands. Like this:

    "I don't agree with adding heterosexual male characters or storylines purely for the sake of pushing boundaries or getting respect from male fanboi gamers. If Blizzard sees fit to add a male heterosexual character, I trust them to do so in a way that fits logically into the story, and I would enjoy experiencing such a story. I get enough of the male heterosexual dominant culture shoved down my throat as it is so if WoW is going to give me the same business it better be palatable."

    So what did we learn about the original argument from this exercise?

    1. It assumes that Male Heterosexual characters are the default value.
    2. It assumes that only having male heterosexual characters is somehow a "neutral" value, rather than affirming a particular world view (in this case that only male heterosexual's are important and have stories anyone would be interested in).
    3. It's naively at odds with the real world (50% of which are women)
    I have no idea what you're trying to communicate here.

    Take the long weekend and give it a think . . . happy 4th.
    I have more important things to think about, but I appreciate the recommendation.
  1. shadycharacter1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jason1975 View Post
    One way to determine if your argument holds water is to flip the point of view and see where it lands. Like this:

    "I don't agree with adding heterosexual male characters or storylines purely for the sake of pushing boundaries or getting respect from male fanboi gamers. If Blizzard sees fit to add a male heterosexual character, I trust them to do so in a way that fits logically into the story, and I would enjoy experiencing such a story. I get enough of the male heterosexual dominant culture shoved down my throat as it is so if WoW is going to give me the same business it better be palatable."

    So what did we learn about the original argument from this exercise?

    1. It assumes that Male Heterosexual characters are the default value.
    2. It assumes that only having male heterosexual characters is somehow a "neutral" value, rather than affirming a particular world view (in this case that only male heterosexual's are important and have stories anyone would be interested in).
    3. It's naively at odds with the real world (50% of which are women)

    Take the long weekend and give it a think . . . happy 4th.
    What does any of this have to do with Warcraft or the game itself?
  1. Delondial's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrulerxxx View Post
    i think his point is, that if it's not necessary to add homosexual romances in the game, then why does it need to be included? because homosexuality needs to be verified in a game that has, for the most part, no need for such things. because it isn't necessary; it doesn't mean its wrong to not include it, because in this game, its irrelevant
    There are plenty of themes one doesn't NEED to add to a game. But I am having a hard time understanding why we're suddenly on a "tight ship" when asking for a bit of flavor. One NPC has a delivery quest, bring their love letter to the other. Done.

    To be clear, I'm not suggesting that we need to fill some imaginary quota of homosexuality/ minority "stuff". I just find it unnerving how defensive folks get when inclusion is even brought up. As if putting some content in would break some sort of "free expression" clause. It sounds a bit like an "I wouldn't like it, so why put it in?" sort of mentality.
  1. Arewn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Protar View Post
    This is the article people are upset about: http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/22/574...zzard-nintendo

    And you know he's the lead creative designer of Blizzard. So bigotry is hardly unexpected given the state of female characters in their games.
    I started skimming by the time I got about half way through (it's late, and I've read enough articles of this tone before...) but it sounds to me that the only thing he's guilty of is complacency, not sexism or homophobia. The article kind of smells of "he's not with us, so he's against us".
    I feel fairly neutral, that is to say neither negative nor positive, about the view he expressed. They make stuff they like, and by extent cater to people who also like those things, all while avoiding the potential circus show that "social commentary" can be. It's not "helping the cause", but I can't really fault him for it either. The devs are making stuff they themselves like, and that's actually usually considered a really good thing that results in great, inspired games.
    The article writer isn't wrong, you can indeed "have both", but Pardo isn't wrong either, his approach makes sense too.
    Not to mention how frail I find the "over sexualized female characters" argument. When I see fangirls squealing over pretty boy/hot Fire Emblem characters on boards, hear female friends talk about "getting moist" over Garen's or Jarvan's (League of Legends) biceps, have my girlfriend telling me how cute the characters/outfits are, or see a game like Tera, look at the lingerie-armor clad female characters and think "wow.. er, well damn that's pretty bad", but then see the band-boy faced, perfectly sculpted muscles of various kinds(dependent on race, some bulging, some toned, some slim but fit, etc), open chested leather armor clad male characters and think "wow.. er, well damn, that not a whole lot better", it really weakens that argument.
    That said, the higher ups at Blizz have plenty of bad things floating around about them, bigotry would fit the list just fine. If there are some particular incriminating quotes from him about it though, I'd be nice to see them (if such quotes are in that article/video[I didn't watch it, only read the article] and I simply over looked them, then I'm an idiot and sorry for wasting your time).
  1. tristannarutofan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Granyala View Post
    Me too.
    Contrary to cheesy US movies, when your life and world is on the line, sexuality is (or rather should be) one of the last things in your mind.
    Humping the queen comes AFTER you save the world and since in Warcraft a new menace arises instantly whenever you've put one down, that poor queen will have to exercise a lot of patience.
    Alextrasza rhonin vareesa krasus neltharion jaina kalec arthas varian thrall aggra moira voljin the fire druid...

    all major characters whos hetero love stories greatly effected the way things are now
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sizzlinsauce View Post
    I would like to point out something very important here. do you notice the most popular versions of world of warcraft he was design / lead design of?

    Lead Designer

    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
    World of Warcraft

    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
    StarCraft: Brood War

    Designer

    World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor[5]
    Diablo II
    Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition
    StarCraft
    Diablo III


    I'm willing to bet he was silently ousted for more EA-milk the customers for their money tactics that we see today.

    you will be missed rob. thank you for the good times.
    So the guy that designed Vanilla and TBC, the MMOs that changed the history of MMOs and the most successful ones is leaving?
  1. Delondial's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shadycharacter1 View Post
    What does any of this have to do with Warcraft or the game itself?
    There was an Off/Topic Warning further up, but it got lost in the transition. He's pointing out the previous poster's admittedly limited perspective. Warcraft is implied through previous posts as well.
  1. tristannarutofan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Arewn View Post
    I started skimming by the time I got about half way through (it's late, and I've read enough articles of this tone before...) but it sounds to me that the only thing he's guilty of is complacency, not sexism or homophobia. The article kind of smells of "he's not with us, so he's against us".
    I feel fairly neutral, that is to say neither negative nor positive, about the view he expressed. They make stuff they like, and by extent cater to people who also like those things, all while avoiding the potential circus show that "social commentary" can be. It's not "helping the cause", but I can't really fault him for it either. The devs are making stuff they themselves like, and that's actually usually considered a really good thing that results in great, inspired games.
    The article writer isn't wrong, you can indeed "have both", but Pardo isn't wrong either, his approach makes sense too.
    Not to mention how frail I find the "over sexualized female characters" argument. When I see fangirls squealing over pretty boy/hot Fire Emblem characters on boards, hear female friends talk about "getting moist" over Garen's or Jarvan's (League of Legends) biceps, have my girlfriend telling me how cute the characters/outfits are, or see a game like Tera, look at the lingerie-armor clad female characters and think "wow.. er, well damn that's pretty bad", but then see the band-boy faced, perfectly sculpted muscles of various kinds(dependent on race, some bulging, some toned, some slim but fit, etc), open chested leather armor clad male characters and think "wow.. er, well damn, that not a whole lot better", it really weakens that argument.
    That said, the higher ups at Blizz have plenty of bad things floating around about them, bigotry would fit the list just fine. If there are some particular incriminating quotes from him about it though, I'd be nice to see them (if such quotes are in that article/video[I didn't watch it, only read the article] and I simply over looked them, then I'm an idiot and sorry for wasting your time).
    Just cus wome are sexually attracted to attractive men doesnt mean that EVERY single area of fantasy doesnt exploit a womans body. And a thousand times more than men.

    jaina is one of the most respectable powerful and intelligent world leaders on their planet....yet wears a giant boob window no one with her personality would wear
  1. Lolercaust's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Delondial View Post
    To be clear, I'm not suggesting that we need to fill some imaginary quota of homosexuality/ minority "stuff". I just find it unnerving how defensive folks get when inclusion is even brought up. As if putting some content in would break some sort of "free expression" clause. It sounds a bit like an "I wouldn't like it, so why put it in?" sort of mentality.
    I would rather Blizzard tell a story that they made up and want to tell than one that has a character of every creed and sexual orientation that they were asked to tell in order to seem progressive.
  1. Immitis's Avatar
    man this is almost like metzen leaving.

    im honestly shocked at this. first he leaves wow at the end of bc and gets put on titan. then he leaves titan and goes back to wow during mists of pandaria and warlords of draenor and then he just leaves before wod even comes out O-O

    seems very strange, you would think he would stay on atleast for wod run.

    hes been with warcraft since almost the begining. this is seriously huge. some big shoes to fill at blizz.
  1. Time Sage's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ForestWalker View Post
    -Raises hand.- I'm not really on the side of forcing sexuality on characters... The main story characters often are heterosexual buuut the amount of fucks this gay guy gives is about.. 0. It is a game, a story, and honestly I feel happy just playing as I do.
    Question: Is it considered forcing if half the fandom reads the character as gay in the first place? There a handful of NPCs that many players read as a couple due to the way they interact. (Or in the case of one "couple" having the same last name despite being different races)
  1. tristannarutofan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Delondial View Post
    There are plenty of themes one doesn't NEED to add to a game. But I am having a hard time understanding why we're suddenly on a "tight ship" when asking for a bit of flavor. One NPC has a delivery quest, bring their love letter to the other. Done.

    To be clear, I'm not suggesting that we need to fill some imaginary quota of homosexuality/ minority "stuff". I just find it unnerving how defensive folks get when inclusion is even brought up. As if putting some content in would break some sort of "free expression" clause. It sounds a bit like an "I wouldn't like it, so why put it in?" sort of mentality.
    Yep just alter one prinoun in quest text and switch the models gender. Bamf done.
  1. shadycharacter1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tristannarutofan View Post
    Just cus wome are sexually attracted to attractive men doesnt mean that EVERY single area of fantasy doesnt exploit a womans body. And a thousand times more than men.

    jaina is one of the most respectable powerful and intelligent world leaders on their planet....yet wears a giant boob window no one with her personality would wear
    Okay, then let me ask you this:

    Who gives a shit?
  1. tristannarutofan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lolercaust View Post
    I would rather Blizzard tell a story that they made up and want to tell than one that has a character of every creed and sexual orientation that they were asked to tell in order to seem progressive.
    Ok. The person u quoted feels the same way....

    like he said its just weird how people get defensive. Like its a big deal

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by shadycharacter1 View Post
    Okay, then let me ask you this:

    Who gives a shit?
    Who wouldnt? Everyone who likes good fantasy, storytelling, and thinks of women as people care. I know that
  1. shadycharacter1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tristannarutofan View Post
    Ok. The person u quoted feels the same way....

    like he said its just weird how people get defensive. Like its a big deal

    - - - Updated - - -



    Who wouldnt? Everyone who likes good fantasy, storytelling, and thinks of women as people care. I know that
    So women who dress however they want are not people?
  1. jason1975's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Delondial View Post
    There was an Off/Topic Warning further up, but it got lost in the transition. He's pointing out the previous poster's admittedly limited perspective. Warcraft is implied through previous posts as well.
    Thank you for that.

    What I'm pointing out is that the argument by the poster - which has largely been echoed by Blizzard over the past two years (mostly the last year) - is very out of touch with both the WoW audience and with gamers in general.

    Pardo did a lot of great things for the game, but we've evolved as a society and it's become clear that Blizzard's upper management are producing a corporate culture that doesn't just "not value" most of the gamer audience (45% of gamers are women, I don't have the LGBT numbers but it's clearly going to be more than 5%), it's disdainful of them in a very passive-aggressive way.

    If Pardo's leaving is a sign of some corporate culture housecleaning (again, I'm a COO so I really focus on this stuff as it's a core part of my role in leading our organization) then I think the future for WoW and Blizzard could be very bright. If not, if it's really just Pardo taking an exit after 17 years and going to leave in place such a rotted out gamer-dude culture within the company, then it's a huge missed opportunity for the organization.
  1. Delondial's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lolercaust View Post
    I would rather Blizzard tell a story that they made up and want to tell than one that has a character of every creed and sexual orientation that they were asked to tell in order to seem progressive.
    Again, we're talking about side characters here. Random NPC quests, bar patrons, that sort. It's like you're reading my posts and ignoring all of the actual content to pursue some misguided crusade of against some imaginary adversary to expression. No one is asking Blizzard to change anything. Nothing. Keep the whole thing as is. It just would be a nice gesture to throw some flavor in is all.
  1. tristannarutofan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shadycharacter1 View Post
    So women who dress however they want are not people?
    Dress however they want? Character designers dress the characters.

    no intelligent warrior woman is going to dress in full plate with a giant "stab here" boob window to distract her male enemies
  1. Lolercaust's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tristannarutofan View Post
    Ok. The person u quoted feels the same way....

    like he said its just weird how people get defensive. Like its a big deal
    Well the reason I am defensive is that I don't want the purity of an artistic vision ruined by someone else's hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delondial View Post
    Again, we're talking about side characters here. Random NPC quests, bar patrons, that sort. It's like you're reading my posts and ignoring all of the actual content to pursue some misguided crusade of against some imaginary adversary to expression. No one is asking Blizzard to change anything. Nothing. Keep the whole thing as is. It just would be a nice gesture to throw some flavor in is all.

    No. You are asking Blizzard to change things. You want representation for the homosexual orientation in small side quests and the like, which is not what Blizzard is currently doing, so that would necessitate a change.
    That is what I'm hesitant to agree with. I don't wish for there to be change for any reason that doesn't come from Blizzard themselves.
    If they feel inspired to write homosexuality into a story, then that's great because everybody wins. But I don't like having stories changed to fit someone else's agenda. Call me narrow-minded and self-centered and say I have a limited perspective all you want. I won't yield for something I don't agree with.

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