Chris Metzen retired from Blizzard in 2016 but is now back in the game as a creative consultant for World of Warcraft.
The original World of Warcraft creative director Chris Metzen, who left Blizzard in 2016 after a 23-year career, is back. Warcraft franchise general manager John Hight announced the news on Twitter. Metzen has joined the “Warcraft Leadership Team” as a creative consultant.
“Chris’s focus initially will be on World of Warcraft, then his work will expand to other projects across this growing franchise,” Hight wrote.
“Chris was one of the original team members working on the Warcraft universe back when it began in 1994, and we are so happy to be reuniting him with the world he helped create.”
Metzen had a distinguished career at Blizzard, where he worked on the studio’s core games. Moby Games lists his previous credits as documenting the original Warcraft: Orcs and Humans and as a “manual illustrator”. From there, he accumulated writing, design, and production credits on the Warcraft sequels and World of Warcraft, as well as Diablo, StarCraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.
When Metzen left Blizzard in 2016, he was very close to the top, holding the position of senior vice president of story and franchise development.
Unlike many of his Blizzard compatriots (such as Ben Brode), Metzen didn’t move on to other things – he retired outright.
He did eventually return to the gaming business. In 2021, he announced the tabletop role-playing game Auroboros: Coils of the Serpents. Sadly, 2021 was also the year Metzen apologised for not taking action to stop the discrimination and sexual harassment that was rife at Activision Blizzard. Metzen has not been publicly implicated in any wrongdoing. However, in July 2021, he said that he and others in leadership positions at Blizzard “failed too many people when they needed us because we had the privilege of not noticing, not engaging, not creating necessary space for the colleagues who needed us as leaders.”
— John Hight (@JHight_Gamer) December 15, 2022