Former Warcraft creative director Chris Metzen is returning to Blizzard

Chris Metzen
(Image credit: Warchief Gaming)

Original World of Warcraft creative director Chris Metzen, who left Blizzard in 2016 after a 23-year career, is coming back. Warcraft franchise general manager John Hight revealed the big news on Twitter, saying that Metzen has joined the "Warcraft Leadership Team" as creative advisor.

"Chris's focus initially will be on World of Warcraft, then his work will expand to other projects across this growing franchise," Hight 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."

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Metzen had a remarkable run at Blizzard, where he worked on the studio's foundational games. Mobygames lists his earlier credit as documentation and "manual illustrations" for the original Warcraft: Orcs and Humans; from there, he amassed writing, design, and production credits on the Warcraft sequels and World of Warcraft, as well as the Diablo games, StarCraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.

When Metzen left Blizzard in 2016, he was very near the top of the heap, holding the position of senior vice president of story and franchise development. And, unlike many of his Blizzard compatriots (like Ben Brode, for instance), Metzen was not moving on to other things—he straight up retired.

He did eventually get back into the gaming business, with a tabletop RPG called Auroboros: Coils of the Serpents announced in 2021. Unfortunately, 2021 was also the year that Metzen apologized for failing to take action to halt widespread discrimination and sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard. Metzen hasn't been publicly implicated in any wrongdoing, but said in July 2021 that he and others in leadership positions at Blizzard "failed too many people when they needed us because we had the privilege of not noticing, not engaging, not creating necessary space for the colleagues who needed us as leaders."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.