Is there such a lack of creativity within Activision Blizzard that a supposedly retired developer had to be dragged back to update the content of the MMO that has been running for almost two decades…?!
Blizzard has had many veteran developers take their hats and leave in recent years. One of them is Chris Metzen, who has worked as a designer on many franchises, including Warcraft, Starcraft, and the Diablo universe. In 2016, he decided to retire (he was 42!) to spend more time with his family, but quietly returned to the company in 2022, when he was offered an advisory position at Blizzard.
He got a much more prominent role, as Blizzard has announced on the official Warcraft Twitter account that Metzen has been appointed executive creative director in charge of the Warcraft franchise, with a focus on World of Warcraft: “We are excited to share that Chris Metzen has taken on a full-time role as Executive Creative Director of the Warcraft universe. His main focus is supporting our World of Warcraft leadership in crafting the next generation of adventures. Chris was instrumental in developing the foundations of the Warcraft Universe, and we are thrilled for him to rejoin our teams in shaping what’s to come. At BlizzCon, he and the team will share what we’ve been working on. We hope to see you there!”
In particular, the World of Warcraft team was affected by the toxic work culture within Activision Blizzard, and when it came to light, many people were fired, and others resigned. The situation was not helped because the MMORPG’s Dragonflight add-on wasn’t excellent. Interestingly, the announcement mentioned “crafting the next generation of adventures.” Are they considering more add-ons or planning a massive facelift for World of Warcraft? Even the latter sounds daunting, but if Warcraft were to get a new RTS, that would exhaust the definition used in the announcement.
While it’s safe to say that Warcraft will be in good hands, Metzen’s return does raise some questions. For example, how come no new talent has been found since then to take the baton forward at the expected level?