Blizzard’s Chris Metzen is retiring

After more than 20 years with the company, Chris Metzen has announced that he is leaving Blizzard. His official job title is Senior Vice President, Story and Franchise Development, but for many people, he is the authority on all things Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and other Blizzard universes.

Describing his experiences with Blizzard as the time of his life, Metzen squashes any rumours about where he might be headed, saying his next job is to simply “Lay around on the couch and get fat.”

Chris Metzen at BlizzCon 2010

Chris Metzen shows us what he is at BlizzCon 2010

Metzen’s lengthy farewell letter was published on the Blizzard forums, and it’s an emotional read.

The story goes that when the young designer applied for the job that would change his life, he didn’t realise what Blizzard Entertainment actually did, thinking that he was signing up to work at a graphic designer. Instead… here we are.

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.

Of course, a love of stories and a long-running D&D campaign set him up perfectly for Blizzard’s game development plans.

For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too).

In short, I’ve had the time of my life.

The letter goes on to explain that while he “pretty much had the coolest job ever”, some times things weren’t all sunshine. “Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky,” he says.

Metzen describes Blizzard as being the “great, geeky backdrop of my life”, but says that it’s time to leave his “second family” to spend time with his flesh-and-blood one instead.

They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration. In addition to raising our two little ones, we recently welcomed our new baby into the family! Being home with them all, having time and space to really live…to love my wife with all my strength…that’s my career now.

And I’ve never been happier.

In addition to the myriad of games Metzen has contributed to behind the scenes, he’s also dabbled in voice acting, written and illustrated comic books, written novels, and generally played around with every form of storytelling there is.

Did you spot Chris Metzen's cameo in the Warcraft movie?

Did you spot Chris Metzen’s cameo in the Warcraft movie?

Acknowledging 2016 as one of the biggest and brightest in Blizzard’s history, Metzen looks forward to experiencing the company’s future from the outside, as an adoring fan – and he thanks all of his fans for being such a big part of his life.

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. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft.

And it is as a fan – of Blizzard’s games, of Chris Metzen, and of stories as a whole – that I would like to say, simply: Thank you. Thank you for everything that you’ve given us. Our lives are richer because of yours – and I hope we’ll see you pop up somewhere in the future… in whatever form that might take.

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