Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Bill Roper reappears with big ideas

The once boss of Blizzard returns.

Once powerful game developer Bill Roper has reappeared, and he's got some "bigger PC console-type pitches" to make when the right publisher comes a knocking on his door.

Who is he?

Bill Roper was a big deal; he was director of Blizzard for nearly a decade. He left with other top Blizzard brass in 2003 - a year before World of Warcraft launched - to form Flagship Studios.

Flagship Studios bet everything on action RPG-MMO hybrid Hellgate: London. And lost.

From the wreckage was formed Runic Games, a studio now responsible for acclaimed Diablo-alike Torchlight.

But Bill Roper didn't join that party; he went to Cryptic Studios to helm - what turned out to be - lacklustre superhero MMO Champions Online. In August 2010, Bill Roper departed and dropped off the radar.

What has he been doing?

"I've been talking with a lot of different companies. I've been doing different game designs and talking with everything from publishers to investors," Roper told Gamasutra.

"I've got some bigger PC console-type title pitches that I've just been kind of sitting on, because when I started showing those around to friends in the industry and people I know in the business side, they were all like, 'Wow, that's a really awesome idea. I would totally play that game. [But] You'll never get funding right now."

"Because it's not out there. You know, even for something in the $6 to $8 million range, which doesn't sound like a lot in the scope of what you can spend in the development, it's just really tight right now. There's a lot of money out in the MMO space still waiting for games to launch, right? So, they're very hesitant.

"There is definitely money for like things on the Xbox Live side," Roper added. "There's money that's out there for starting a company in the casual space, that kind of thing."

Roper went on to say that the biggest thing he's doing now is "not limiting myself". When Roper started at Cryptic he had wanted to stay near San Francisco in California, USA. "I had a house. I had personal reasons I wanted to be there," he explained.

"Now, anything that's that a very specific tie is gone. So, I think the deal I made myself is I'm going to go where just the best opportunity is. If that's starting my own company and that's in the Bay Area, that's great. If it's going to Los Angeles or Seattle or China...

"I mean, I want to go where there's an exciting opportunity to do something," he said. "And whether that is my own thing and whether that is working at a company, you know, starting something for them or working in an established organization, I think it's really going to be about what games get done and what the idea is there on how it's going to get done, the business model and all that kind of stuff."

Bertie plays Hellgate.