WoW designer Rob Pardo opens Bonfire Studios

WoW designer Rob Pardo opens Bonfire Studios
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

September 12th 2016 at 11:48AM

Team comprised of former Blizzard, Nexon and Ubisoft devs

The former lead designer behind World of Warcraft has founded a new studio that aims to focus on “bringing players closer together”.

Bonfire Studios will be based in Irvine, California and led by ex-Blizzard dev Rob Pardo, who describes the copany as “the next phases in [my] journey to deepen and enrich friendships through gameplay”.

Pardo has gathered an experienced team around him, including: Min Kim, who spent 12 years working at Nexon; Nick Carpenter, who worked at Blizzard for 22 years; former Relic, Ubisoft and Blizzard dev Josh Mosqueira; and Matthew Versluys, who was instrumental in building Blizzard’s Battle.net.

Bonfire Studios was founded with the help of $25m in funding from Riot Games and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

“The bonfire is a metaphor for the experiences we wish to create,” Pardo wrote on the studio’s blog. “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.”