Rob Pardo departed Blizzard back in July 2014 and has been taking a break but he’s now returning to game development with a few familiar faces. The new studio is called Bonfire Studios.
Josh Mosqueira, who has been hailed as saving Diablo 3 as the game’s second game director, has joined Rob along with Matthew Versluys who was director of BattleNet Engineering and Nick Carpenter who was the vice president of art and cinematic development at Blizzard.
According to the announcement on the New York Times, the studio does not have a game in development yet but they have been funded by RIOT Games and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
A new website has just been launched and a blog post explains their goals.
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. After all, superhero bases are not free. But we needed 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.
Thanks PC Invasion.