Blizzard's Chris Metzen Retires After 23 Years

Image: Blizzard/AP (BlizzCon 2011)

After 23 years spent witnessing a whirlwind of changes within the company, Blizzard senior vice president Chris Metzen has announced his retirement from the developer and the gaming industry at large.

Metzen, who ends his career as the senior vice president of story and franchise development, first joined Blizzard when it was called Chaos Studios. He came on board as an animator and artist, beginning with contributions to the first Warcraft as well as Justice League Task Force.

In an open letter published on the Diablo 3 forums, Metzen wrote that he had just turned 20 when he began at Blizzard and that his time there would "ultimately shape the course of my adult life".

"I pretty much had the coolest job ever — but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky," Metzen wrote.

"Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens."

Metzen, aged 42, said he would be using his newfound time to slow down and connect more with his family. He's not moving onto other projects or companies at this stage, although he has co-authored graphic novels in the past.

One of Metzen's last public contributions to Blizzard is in World of Warcraft: Legion, where he voiced Varian Wrynn and Thrall, the latter being a role he has upheld since Warcraft 3.


Comments

    Well that's pretty big news, I quite like Metzen (and Morhaime, for that matter). Thanks for all the hard work Chris, going to miss seeing you rallying the crowd on stage at Blizzcon.

      Was just chatting to a mate about this. I'm hoping he'll still do some appearances and voice work, but having been in what was basically a startup that turned into one of the biggest and arguably the most successful game studio in the world, I bet he has the confidence of residual income and shit-tons of stock that will support him for the next forever.

    I'll miss his artwork the most :(
    WC3 manual I think it was I slavishly copied his pictures because the style was beastly.

      I reckon you're probably thinking of the WC2 manual, I was similarly enamoured!

      http://i.imgur.com/n2DVKyi.jpg

      Did the same thing with the WCII Tides of Darkness manual!

        Yep, warcraft 1 and 2 manuals were just superb. 30 pages of technical info (how set upo different MP games through IP, Dial Up, Lan etc) and near 60 pages of story, unit info, spell describtions and awesome artwork

          When people whine about no sexy instruction books anymore, THIS is what they're whinging about. I can totally understand too :)

    Oops! Yeah it was definitely WC2 manual. Thanks guys :)

    Nice to see some WC2 manual love.

    So what happens to Thrall now?

    Last edited 13/09/16 9:35 pm

    So as I was reading over the Kotaku news I had to do the double take on this.."whaaa...!?!". He's done TONS of work for WC, crazy news!

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