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Unity game developers and designers have a new ally — a top Blizzard chief.

Game development platform company Unity announced today that it has brought on former Blizzard chief creative officer Rob Pardo as creative adviser. Pardo was a lead designer on popular MMO World of Warcraft, as well as other StarCraft and Warcraft strategy games, and will now use his experience to guide and assist Unity’s developer community. He also oversaw the development of hit digital card battler Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, which uses Unity, one of the industry’s most popular game-engine and tool platforms.

Beginning next month, Pardo’s role will have him traveling, tour-style, to meet developers in North America, Europe, and Asia to discuss game design and creative processes as well as appearing at developer groups to meet with Unity users.

In an interview just ahead of this announcement, Pardo told GamesBeat that the company is still figuring out how it will meet with developers worldwide. He says that the goal is to benefit game development at large, so Unity will do its best to share learnings through a variety of means, including blogs on its website.


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“Honestly, we are still figuring this out as we go along,” Pardo said. “We’ve taken a first pass on the tour list, but I know we will continue to iterate on it in the coming weeks. It is important to get a good diverse group of developers as well as diversity in locations.”

On the changing of roles, Pardo says that this announcement just makes things official and that he has already been working this way in some capacity.

“As a game maker who has the opportunity to survey the games landscape, the developer tour project with Unity fits organically with what I have been doing on my own,” Pardo said. “Even while at Blizzard, I would often like to visit other studios to share design knowledge, tips, and tricks. The Unity tour project just makes this slightly more formal and allows me to help the game development community at a broader scale.”

Pardo credits his new employer’s platform as a key component of Hearthstone’s success.

“Hearthstone was a bit of an experiment for us,” he said. “It was a small team of around 15 people for most of development, so while bigger than some indie studios, it was a pretty major departure for Blizzard. Unity allowed a lot of flexibility and efficiency that made it possible for a team that size to create a really polished, complex, and ultimately fun game together without having to explode the core team’s size.”

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