Had no idea about Bonfire. Going to go ahead and set up unrealistic expectations for a new MMO from them, can't wait to be disappointed some time in the future.
Also, I'm pretty sure Blizzard is still raking in money hand over fist so I doubt they're worried. Whether or not their new games line up with the MMO crowds tastes is another story, but Overwatch is killing it. There's always the new Diablo thing they're going to announce at Blizzcon.
Pardo left blizzard two years ago. Losing Nick Carpenter is definitely a fresh hit, though, since he was the WoW Cinematic guy. Probably a combination of burn-out and wanting to work with an old friend, since Carpenter's last project was the WoW movie which kinda vomited all over itself. Bonfire looks to be focused on making lighter games.
Looks like a decent # of the folks he lured away from Blizzard were D3 folks (who are getting shuttered anyway), so maybe he intends to make an ARPG to drown in the sea of other mediocre ARPGs.
Re: Diablo at Blizzcon; I like the conspiracy theories around the fucked up "diablo-themed" 4-sided-Die that came in the goody bag.
Finally no reason for Blizzard to keep Green Orc Jesus around anymore, blizzard if anything needs some new blood at this point to bring some energy back into its franchises or dare I say develop new ones that don't take 10 years to come out. Diablo will have to compete with Lost Ark once that gets a western release which is actually trying to push ARPG's into an actual MMO setting. Regardless most blizzard devs that leave don't have the best track record of doing anything really worthwhile, I'm looking at you my Collector's Edition of Hellgate London.
Metzen seemed like a cool dude buy my god I could not stand his style of lore. Everything was so over the top and overwritten I couldn't be bothered to follow it after a while, it made Salvatore look subtle and restrained.
My gut would be that many of the old foxes at blizzard feel like Metzen might feel, that they've become a bit too big and gotten away from that 'nerds in a garage' feeling they probably started out with in the early 90s. I think for people like Rob Pardo who most likely is financially set for life, it's more enjoyable to surround yourself with friends and develop games that interest you without the massive overhead that Blizzard no doubt has these days from investors, owners and the like.
I mean, read about what minecraft guy did after selling his game, made a tiny game studio where he's basically dicking around with friends. And this guy only worked what, half or a quarter of how long the Blizzard guys have been at the helm
With Legion being pretty positively received, OW appearing to do well, and I bet, Blizz is looking at their next big thing or at least really devoting their best and brightest to moving it further along, I would say it was just a good time. He probably didn't want to go through another major huge development. He's done this a long time so it's not like this is another DBG incident, he probably just wanted to see what it was like to live without a little bit of pressure and freelance some. Hate to see it but I would expect stuff like this to begin happening time to time. You have to think, if you started in the late 90's really developing major titles, you've probably been doing this 25-30 years as of today. That's a lot of time.
I wouldn't mind seeing some fresh ideas come into WoW, especially lore/quest wise. Getting a bit tired of ye olde "good" shit becoming "bad" shit due to corruption and whatever. I mean, sure, this game could keep going for another decade and slowly decline into irrelevance, but if they want to breathe some fresh life into it then they will need some fresh faces.
I wonder if they will ever go the RIFT route and merge the Horde and Alliance together. Would kind of take the 'War' out of Warcraft but from a game lore perspective, the continued conflict seems kind of silly in the face of things like Scourge/Lich King invasions, global world destroying dragon-induced cataclysm, and otherdimensional orc/demon invasions, and pretty much every iteration of the game other than vanilla ends up with the two sides joining forces anyway.
Overwatch is a mediocre game at best. If it didn't have Blizzard's name and marketing, it would have disappeared into irrelevance. Legion isn't as good as you think it is either. I don't think Blizzard has produced anything of quality in a very, very long time, with Diablo 3 being the first of a long list of poorly constructed games.
If Blizzard implodes I think the gaming community would be better off for it.
And my god, the Warcraft movie was literally one of the worst movies I've seen in nearly a decade.
I swear I could write a better script in less than five hours. I don't see how these people get positions directing these $100m movies. The actors were very visibly trying not to laugh as they spoke that absolutely ridiculous dialogue.
The movie is all-over-the-place. It has no progression of time, you can't tell if the story is taking place over 3 days or a year. Reasonably, given the time it takes to travel and perform certain actions you would think the story would encompass about 6-12 months, but you don't even see the seasons change, the day/night scenes are randomly introduced. It's like being in a casino without a clock.
You also can't get a scope of the scale of the world. In the LotR movies, you see the characters traveling over rivers, mountains, and through kingdoms. You see that the world is immense and diverse. In this movie, the characters teleport from location to location, and then back. You can't tell if the Orcs are 5 miles outside of Stormwind or 500 miles.