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Chris Metzen appointed executive creative director for Warcraft franchise

Metzen's return to Blizzard becomes more substantial as he becomes a key creative force for the entire Warcraft series.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

September 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Screenshot of Blizzard Entertainment's Chris Metzen.

Almost a full year after becoming an advisor for the Warcraft franchise, Chris Metzen is now its executive creative director. Under his new position at Blizzard Entertainment, Metzen will be "supporting our World of Warcraft leadership in crafting the next generation of adventurers." 

Metzen has been a key part of Blizzard and its fantasy franchise for nearly 25 years. He retired from the company in 2016, and when he returned in December 2022, it was expected that he would eventually get involved with other parts of the long-running series. 

Metzen first joined the studio in 1994 as it was working on Justice League Task Force, and eventually become Blizzard's SVP for story and franchise development. He's also been involved with Blizzard's other key franchises, Diablo, Starcraft, and Overwatch.

"Chris was instrumental in developing the foundations of the Warcraft universe," continued Blizzard, "and we are thrilled for him to re-join our teams in shaping what's to come."

Developers are trying to hold onto their veterans when possible

Across the industry overall, veteran developers who remain at the studios where they made their name are now being brought in to oversee particular series. This is particularly common at Ubisoft, which has brought on multiple experienced staff to supervise different parts of its key franchises such as Far Cry and The Division.

In Ubisoft's case, these moves have been made as its series are likely preparing for wholly new installments. For Blizzard, it may be reflective of how much notable talent has departed the studio in the years since allegations of misconduct and harassment saw several established staff leave or be ousted out of the company.

At the start of September, an IATSE survey revealed many developers in the triple-A space (which Blizzard inhabits) are worried about the industry's future. Those with longer tenure were said to be more optimistic, but the industry does suffer from its members not being around more than about seven years, on average.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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