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After six years away from Blizzard, Chris Metzen returns as its new Warcraft advisor.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 15, 2022

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

Blizzard Entertainment's Chris Metzen is back at the company. Per John Hight, general manager for the Warcraft franchise, Metzen has returned to the developer as a creative advisor for Warcraft's leadership team. 

Metzen retired from Blizzard in 2016 after a 23-year stint as its SVP of story and franchise development, and he left to spend time with his family. He first joined the studio in 1994 during the development of Justice League Task Force

"Chris was one of the original team members working on Warcraft universe back when it began in 1994, and we are so happy to be reuniting him with the world he helped create," wrote Hight. 

According to Hight, Metzen's primary concern will be World of Warcraft, and he'll eventually expand to other arms of the fantasy franchise. 

Blizzard may be in need of legacy talent at the moment 

Metzen's hiring would be notable on its own, but when considering other fairly recent events at Blizzard, it puts things into perspective. 

Throughout 2021 and much of 2022, Blizzard has lost some notable talent among its ranks. Some departing employees were ousted in the wake of allegations of misconduct that plagued both Blizzard and parent company Activision, while others left voluntarily

The loss of talent, especially veteran talent, has reportedly been a blow to the development of Diablo IV in particular. Last week, hours before the game's reveal at the Game Awards, the Washington Post reported the Diablo team had lost a number of staff in the past year, with many of them longtime veterans of the series. 

An ex-member of the Diablo team told the Washington Post that leadership wasn't proactive in adjusting for those departures, further complicating the game's development. Various departments reportedly have a "siloed culture" where employees in different departments weren't all on the same page. 

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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