Veteran Warcraft veteran Chris Metzen returns to Blizzard Entertainment
Retirement is overrated.
Blizzard Entertainment announced that Chris Metzen, one of the formative creators of the Warcraft franchise, has rejoined the studio to work on future releases in the World of Warcraft series. Metzen retired in 2016, having worked on the fantasy franchise since its formation in the early 1990s.
The Metzens were announced in a statement by the current World of Warcraft manager John Hight.
I’m thrilled that Chris Metzen is joining the Warcraft Leadership Team as Creative Advisor. Chriss focus on World of Warcraft first, then his work will expand to other projects across this growing franchise, said Hight. We’re very happy to join him with the world he helped created.
Metzen was a key designer for many of Warcraft’s lore, worlds, and characters. Metzens works on the franchise includes the design of humans and orcs for the universe, as well as the creation of the creepy Forsaken race, and of the most famous and instantly recognizable Person of Warcraft, The Night Elves. Through his design work, Metzen voiced the original Horde master Thrall, whose dreadful faces were plastered on many of the original trilogy’s marketing materials.
Metzen likely rejoined the team to teach his concepts and insights to the modern World of Warcraft universe, perhaps steering the lore in a direction that’s likely to reflect the golden age of the warcraft franchise. It seems as though the studio Metzen is returning is a very different place than in the 1990s or even when he went away in 2016. Blizzard Entertainment remains under the microscope following California’s investigation into its workplace practices (and the pending lawsuit) and the parent company Activision remains in a complex legal battle as a result of the proposal to acquire Microsoft.
As you may know, Metzen went over for his retirement, to rejoin the studio he helped build, that he had come to see himself as a tumultuous man. But since Warcraft was such a love affair for the original Blizzard team, sometimes you can’t let that passion work go. (Though the more cynical might suggest that Blizzard simply drove a dump truck of cash to his front door and said Help.)
World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Dragonflight, is now being live on PC and Mac.