Chris Metzen, one of Warcraft’s longest and most influential lore-crafters for more than two decades before he retired back in 2016, has returned to work at Blizzard full-time.
If you’re thinking “Hold on, didn’t this already happen?” you’d be somewhat right. After retiring from his position as senior vice president of story and franchise development in 2016, after a nearly 23-year run that saw him work on every Warcraft game from the original Orcs & Humans through to World of Warcraft and its earlier expansions – as well as being creative director for the first Overwatch and providing a number of voices to boot – Metzen came back as creative advisor for the Warcraft series in late 2022.
In the interim, Metzen went off to launch tabletop games company Warchief in 2018 alongside fellow Blizzard alumnus Mike Gilmartin and Hearthstone designer Ryan Collins, which launched a fantasy setting for Dungeons & Dragons 5E, Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent, based on Metzen’s own childhood D&D campaign.
Metzen’s latest move back into the Blizzard fold sees him step up from advisor to a full-time role as executive creative director for the Warcraft universe. In an announcement post on X, Blizzard said that the veteran dev’s main focus will be “crafting the next generation of adventures” with the World of Warcraft team.
Metzen’s own announcement added: “It’s been amazing working on Warcraft again. Like coming home. The stories we’re developing right now – how the world unfolds over the next few years… Well, I can’t wait for y’all to see where we’re headed.”
It’s been amazing working on Warcraft again. Like coming home. The stories we’re developing right now – how the world unfolds over the next few years… Well, I can’t wait for y’all to see where we’re headed.
SOON… 🙂 https://t.co/7hPIR8YEr0
— Chris Metzen (@ChrisMetzen) September 26, 2023
Metzen teased that we’ll see the outcome of that work “SOON”, with Blizzard saying a reveal will take place at this year’s BlizzCon, which takes place on November 3rd and 4th.
While Metzen had left Blizzard half a decade before the publisher faced a lawsuit from the State of California over its toxic workplace, and faced no direct accusations himself, Metzen publicly apologised at the time for “the part I played in a culture that fostered harassment, inequality and indifference”, adding “there is no excuse” for Blizzard’s “failed” culture.
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