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Warcraft's former creative leader to open a studio, with Riot Games' backing

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Rob Pardo is starting Bonfire Studios; Nexon's Min Kim is aboard

Rob Pardo (pictured above, left) the former Blizzard designer credited with much of World of Warcraft's success, is opening a studio with $25 million in venture capital and an all-star list of partners, The New York Times reports.

Bonfire Studios, to be based in Irvine, California, will have Min Kim, the former Nexon executive, on board, and will start with $25 million in venture capital, some of that supplied by Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends. The studio does not have a game in development yet.

Pardo, 46, left Blizzard two years ago. Given his and Kim's backgrounds, and the presence of Riot in the company's startup capital, it is expected that Bonfire will make online multiplayer games. Whether that will be for personal computers or mobile devices is unknown.

Pardo had been the chief creative officer of Blizzard until he departed. He told the Times that the idea to create his own studio came from the success Blizzard found with Hearthstone, created by a very small team.

John Riccitiello, the former Electronic Arts chief executive now running the engine-maker Unity Technologies, is also an investor in Bonfire. He and Pardo had developed a consulting relationship in the two years since Pardo left Blizzard.