Chris Metzen has returned to Blizzard Entertainment six years after announcing his departure. He will again be working on the Warcraft franchise, the universe he has been involved in since its inception.
Chris Metzen, Image: Warchief Gaming
Warcraft general manager John Hight made an announcement on Twitter, saying that Metzen will serve as a creative advisor on the Warcraft leadership team.
“Chris’s focus initially will be on World of Warcraft, then his work will expand to other projects across this growing franchise,” he 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.
— John Hight (@JHight_Gamer) December 15, 2022
Metzen has already reacted to the news, saying that he has been loving the Dragonflight expansion so far. “Feels like home… in so many ways,” he wrote.
World of Warcraft lead cinematic narrative designer Terran Gregory also welcomed Metzen on the team, with Chris saying, “Once more into the breach, Terran.”
Once more into the breach, Terran. 🙂
— Chris Metzen (@ChrisMetzen) December 15, 2022
Why did Chris Metzen leave Blizzard in 2016?
Metzen joined Blizzard in January 1994 as an artist. He contributed to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans late in development and then worked on its sequel, Tides of Darkness, as a story designer. His role increased significantly when he became one of the writers and the creative director for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
On top of that, Metzen has contributed to every franchise beloved by Blizzard fans, including Diablo, StarCraft, and the first Overwatch. He worked in various roles on World of Warcraft up until the Battle for Azeroth expansion, also serving as Blizzard’s senior VP of story and franchise development.
In 2016, Metzen announced his departure from Blizzard to spend more time with his family. “The reason I use the word ‘retire’ is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that,” he wrote at the time. “It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat.”
Metzen then founded Warchief Gaming together with Mike Gilmartin to produce tabletop games. They have already released a campaign setting called Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent.