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  1. #1

    Ex Blizzard Nick Carpenter, Min Kim, Rob Pardo & Nexon Min Kim start Bonfire Studios


    Many game developers of my generation have similar stories. We were the misfits that carried multi colored dice in our pockets, hid our action figures in our closets and camped at the comic store each week for the newest issues. Star Wars was the event that every kid remembered where they were when they saw it. For us, it changed geekdom forever. Our parents accused us of using video games to escape reality, but these worlds gave us the ability to have an impact. To dream, to struggle, to compete and ultimately to make our dent in the universe (even if it was only digital). Then we grew up and starting making games as our profession.
    Game developers live the dream scenario where passion meets work. We don’t view our week as something to get through so we can really live on the weekend. But often, developers must compromise and decide — do I work on a blockbuster game where I have less personal impact or the gutsy indie studio that struggles to get noticed? Our vision is to create a studio that doesn’t require them to choose.
    As lifelong gamers, we approached this problem like we are embarking on an epic quest.
    The most important part of our quest is WHY are we doing this? We can’t say we are going to Mount Doom to save the world, but we do think deeply about what we love about games. One of the most rewarding parts of creating any game, be it a D&D campaign or a massive persistent world, is the connection you have to the players themselves. You get to see the player’s reactions, you get to respond to them and make their experience better over time. It’s like the warmth of friends around a bonfire, sharing stories.
    And that’s why we named our studio BONFIRE. The bonfire is a metaphor for the experiences we wish to create. We want friends to connect through our games and share amazing experiences, tell the stories, and come closer together.
    To ensure our developers have a big impact we are organizing them into small but powerful and diverse superhero teams, like the Avengers. We believe you can create epic games with small teams of talented, self-driven game developers, where each team is deeply connected to their players and empowered to make the best decisions to evolve their game without bureaucracies, committees or middle management in their way.
    To give us the ability to operate with independence and create the games we want, we had to find amazing investors. If we are going to create a superhero team, we needed our version of Shield. Afterall, superhero bases are not free. But we need more than financial backing, we wanted true partners that could give us sage advice about the road ahead, connect us to future partners and most importantly who share our vision for Bonfire Studios.
    We are extremely fortunate to find our partners in Riot Games and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Riot’s aspiration to be the most player-focused game company in the world, aligns very nicely with our vision to build friendships through our online games. With a16z, we found a treasure trove of experienced entrepreneurs that have a wealth of knowledge about how to create a great and enduring company.
    Today we announcing our company, but we look forward to continuing the conversation with our community in the coming months and years.
    https://medium.com/bonfirestudios/we...b0d#.bekxzetx5

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  2. #2
    not sure how I feel about about the name...and Riot Games fostering friendships through online gaming? Riot Games,that hosts the most toxic community known to the gaming world in LoL, fosters friendships? Does Not Compute (I'm only half kidding...)

    I think Bonfire's vision is (not surprisingly) dollar signs - now that I would agree with aligning well with Riot Games. Good luck to them.

  3. #3
    Lets hope they don't end up like most of the other ex-big company startups. The talent seems to be there but they still need employees, IPs, etc...
    Best of luck to them.

  4. #4
    We believe you can create epic games with small teams of talented, self-driven game developers, where each team is deeply connected to their players and empowered to make the best decisions to evolve their game without bureaucracies, committees or middle management in their way.
    Feel like this could be the reason Rob Pardo and Nick Carpenter, and some of the others left Blizzard?

  5. #5
    Well, some names are there - i especially like Josh Mosqueira being there. Well, something to follow on close, it may turn out wonderful or total crap. Let's see what the furture will bring.

    Hope not a MOBA (Riot Games).

  6. #6
    Blizzard offshoots have never been very successful in the past.

    Let's see how this one does.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by azurrei View Post
    not sure how I feel about about the name
    That of course is a very important and serious matter!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rassium View Post
    I like General Off-Topic. It's really cool to see people with My Little Pony avatars advocating for genocide.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenixhart View Post
    Blizzard offshoots have never been very successful in the past.

    Let's see how this one does.
    Which ones weren't successful?

  9. #9
    Partnering with Riot? Welp, I won't expect anything good from them then. LoL is garbage, and if they're of a similar mindset to them, then no thanks. The main part of the industry has truly forgotten its roots and completely fallen in bed with catering to the Candy Crush market instead of actual gamers.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by stellvia View Post
    Partnering with Riot? Welp, I won't expect anything good from them then. LoL is garbage, and if they're of a similar mindset to them, then no thanks. The main part of the industry has truly forgotten its roots and completely fallen in bed with catering to the Candy Crush market instead of actual gamers.
    Maybe it's the opposite - Riot willing to enter the market of other game formats and gives the money to them so they can develop stuff different from LoL. Or at least i hope. I'll just wait and see what happens.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvani View Post
    Which ones weren't successful?
    Flagship Studios flagshipped very very hard...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by thevoicefromwithin View Post
    Flagship Studios flagshipped very very hard...
    Hellgate London was really popular for a time, if I recall correctly. Also Torchlight.

  13. #13
    Lets hope they don't try for an MMO or a MOBA.

    I mean Remember Carbine Studios and their whole "YEAH WE ARE EX BLIZZARD WE'LL MAKE A GREAT MMO!" that failed miserably.

    *cough* Wildstar *cough*
    Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvani View Post
    Hellgate London was really popular for a time, if I recall correctly. Also Torchlight.
    Hellgate London... Yea, i remember vividly how that one tanked. It was played during the Beta-Periods and was a huge disappointment after release because everything looked the same after the first 30 minutes of game time, then died after a week and faster than most MMOs did. The servers where shut down in less than half a year i believe? But Torchlight didn't do half bad... but i can't tie it to Blizzard-Exes either right now.

    Its sadly a fact that all Blizzard-Offshots fell flat on a long term tho. Not everyone there is or ever has been a prodigy after all... And not everyone leaving did really decide to, even if they say they want to face new things. That's what you would write in your bio when fired as well after all.

    By now i wonder if a lot of the recent leaves were not... suggested leaves anyway. I mean its my personal opinion but i still consider Gregg Street a homongous hack and never got why so many liked him when you can pinpoint the bad decisions and horrible design flaws growing by the minute from the second he became lead designer, and now he is gone long enough to safely assume his influence left the body we got Legion...
    Last edited by SoundOfGuns; 2016-09-12 at 11:31 AM.
    Whyyy... This... I... We... well... FFfffuuuu uu
    ww..
    Victim to Blizzard-Marketing since 2004

  15. #15
    Lets hope it doesnt turn into another "FROM THE GUYS THAT MADE WOW, ITS GONNA BE GREAT, JUST GREAT. SWER ON ME MAMM" situation where they put out a bad wow clone or moba that crashes and burns leading to them getting bought out by someone like activision or EA. Again.
    http://theeorzeanfrontier.blogspot.co.uk/ Neckbeard rambling about this weeaboo trash

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvani View Post
    Feel like this could be the reason Rob Pardo and Nick Carpenter, and some of the others left Blizzard?
    Could be. On the other hand, many of those people spent decades at Blizz. Sometimes you just need a change.

    not sure how I feel about about the name.
    I too would have prefered something like "Furry Balls Plopped Menacingly On The Table INC."

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by dope_danny View Post
    Lets hope it doesnt turn into another "FROM THE GUYS THAT MADE WOW, ITS GONNA BE GREAT, JUST GREAT. SWER ON ME MAMM" situation where they put out a bad wow clone or moba that crashes and burns leading to them getting bought out by someone like activision or EA. Again.
    Yeah, definitely this.

    I agree that now Online gaming is becoming more and more prominent, but it doesn't need to be a standard MMO or MOBA. An online game with solo/small group content, or a cooperative game, things like that.

    They need to move from standard cliches and search to create their own format.

  18. #18
    Epic! Aurabolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azurrei View Post
    not sure how I feel about about the name...and Riot Games fostering friendships through online gaming? Riot Games,that hosts the most toxic community known to the gaming world in LoL, fosters friendships? Does Not Compute (I'm only half kidding...)
    Agree 100% and you're right. LOL.

    Something about this smells.


    Quote Originally Posted by azurrei View Post

    I think Bonfire's vision is (not surprisingly) dollar signs - now that I would agree with aligning well with Riot Games. Good luck to them.
    That's exactly what it is. Pretty sure the lead Devs have money saved up so when the studio tanks, at least it won't leave them in debt.



    We believe you can create epic games with small teams of talented, self-driven game developers, where each team is deeply connected to their players and empowered to make the best decisions to evolve their game without bureaucracies, committees or middle management in their way.
    I read this and I hear "We disagreed with the core philosophy of Blizzard, felt constricted and decided to leave in protest." Bashiok and Ghostcrawler both connected with the WoW Community as did Chris Metzen as the voice as Thrall. This line is a red herring. If these guys truly wanted to have a connection with gamers, they would have found a way to make it happen. I do know Blizzard employees are encouraged but not forced to play the games for their own personal enjoyment. I have played with a few people I suspected were Blizzard employees in WoW and Starcraft II myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fenixhart View Post
    Blizzard offshoots have never been very successful in the past.
    Very true. I think this is a dummy Studio set up for another purpose being honest. They gave no timetable ot hints of any IP they're working on so...yeah. It's just licensing the name for another purpose from the looks of things.



    Quote Originally Posted by SoundOfGuns View Post

    By now i wonder if a lot of the recent leaves were not... suggested leaves anyway. I mean its my personal opinion but i still consider Gregg Street a homongous hack and never got why so many liked him when you can pinpoint the bad decisions and horrible design flaws growing by the minute from the second he became lead designer, and now he is gone long enough to safely assume his influence left the body we got Legion...
    I think they all were personally.

    He wouldn't outright say so but Ghostcrawler strongly implied when he talked about why he left Blizzard he was prettymuch forced out due to design philosophy differences. I also agree it makes no sense given how much the WoW Community villified him when he worked for Blizz now can't get enough of him since he left. He chose to be the link between the WoW Community and the Dev Team. The one good from that is Blizzard understood the importance keeping the lines of communication open with their playerbase.

    I personally feel Blizz is moving in a better direction without him and everyone else who's left. Ghostcrawler especially. I hated his whole "You should have been nice to me when you had the chance" attitude he's had since he started working for Riot. He publicly denies it but I know for a fact he trashes Blizzard at every opportunity to his new friends at Riot--"That wouldn't have happened if I was there", "I would have done instead" and so on.
    ...Ok, time to change the ol' Sig ^_^

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  19. #19
    Pit Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel SnackyCakes View Post
    Lets hope they don't try for an MMO or a MOBA.

    I mean Remember Carbine Studios and their whole "YEAH WE ARE EX BLIZZARD WE'LL MAKE A GREAT MMO!" that failed miserably.

    *cough* Wildstar *cough*
    There wasn't any big name in the wildstar team though
    Anyway, I expect bonfire studio to be nothing but a bait for the players that want vanilla wow, I hope i'm wrong

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevene View Post
    There wasn't any big name in the wildstar team though
    Anyway, I expect bonfire studio to be nothing but a bait for the players that want vanilla wow, I hope i'm wrong
    If they can keep their development costs low, I'm not so sure there isn't a market for something more old school. The key is not needing a massive number of players to make a dollar.

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