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Long Time Blizzard Developer Chris Metzen Retires

Posted on September 12, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Long time Blizzard Entertainment developer & current Senior Vice President in charge of Story and Franchise Development, Chris Metzen has retired from the world renowned developer. Originally reported by the Business Journal and later confirmed via a lengthy good-bye message posted to the Blizzard official forums on Chris’ behalf by Community Manager Lylirra.

If you’ve even dabbled in a Blizzard Entertainment title since the company’s formative years in the 1990s then you’ve experienced some of Metzen’s work. He got his start at the developer at the young age of 20, working on the D.C licensed fighter Justice League Task Force. Over the next 20+ years Chris would help shape the very worlds that would make Blizzard a household name and one of the industry titans of the past fifteen years.


His notable credits include Lead Designer on StarCraft (1998), he contributed to Diablo II’s (2000) script and concept art as well.  He is perhaps best known for his contributions to the world of Azeroth through his work on the Warcraft franchise. He served as creative director for 2002’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos before contributing to the formative years of Blizzard’s MMORPG smash hit World of Warcraft.

Fans of Blizzard’s work probably need no introduction to the vast number of character voices that Metzen has contributed over the years. He portrayed the original Space Marine units in Starcraft (1998), his most well known voice role is probably that of former Horde Warchief Thrall throughout multiple titles including Warcraft III, vanilla World of Warcraft and several subsequent expansions. He also served as the creative director for this year’s Overwatch and created the character of Soldier 76.

Overwatch progression1

Thanks for everything Chris! Some of my favorite games wouldn’t be the same without you.

Here are some quotes from Chris Metzen’s goodbye message.

Speaking about how he got his start at Blizzard Entertainment Metzen wrote:

“I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life.”

Regarding the “give and take” that can occur during the creative process Chris had this to say in reflection about his time at Blizzard:

“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.”

Talking directly to Blizzard’s hard-core & dedicated fan-base Chris Metzen had a special message for fans who have enjoyed his creations throughout the years:

“Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other.”

Top Image Taken From BlizzCon 2014 Keynote


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