World of Warcraft game director Tom Chilton has announced he's leaving the MMO team, after 12 years working on it in varying roles. In a forum post on Battle.net earlier today, Chilton said that while he's leaving WoW, he'll still be working at Blizzard on an unspecified project. Current lead game designer Ion Hazzikostas will be promoted to Chilton's former role.
"My personal journey working on WoW as Game Director is at an end, but my journey with Blizzard isn’t," Chilton wrote. "I’ll still be here, but will be focusing on another project within the company.
"I know that WoW will be in great hands with Ion at the helm," he continued. "He’s been an integral part of the team for more than eight years and has contributed to so many aspects of the game’s development—from class design to encounter design and nearly everything in between. He also has an amazing team at his side—the same epic crew that brought you all the content you’re enjoying in Legion."
Chilton has worked in the field for a long time: before joining Blizzard in 2004 he worked on EA's Ultima Online. It's unclear whether Chilton is moving to an existing Blizzard project or an entirely new one, though he leaves WoW at a good time, with August's Legion expansion among the most highly praised yet.
"For me, Legion has been more than just another expansion... it’s the culmination of more than a decade of work with one of the best development teams I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of."
Our reviewer Steven Messner liked Legion, too. "If Blizzard can continue to deliver, Legion sets the stage for what could be the best chapter of World of Warcraft yet," he wrote.