Blizzard's Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft Co-Creator Chris Metzen Retires

Thanks Metzen.

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Blizzard Entertainment's senior VP of story and franchise development Chris Metzen is retiring. The news was shared by Blizzard on the official forums. Metzen has been at Blizzard Entertainment for 21 years, during which he worked on the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo series. In the post, Metzen emphasises the use of the word "retire" because he's "not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that."

Metzen worked on Warcraft: Orcs and Humans in 1994, contributing artwork, illustrations, and documentation for the game. He would go on to serve as writer for the sequel, 1995's Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. The following year he co-created the fictional universe for role-playing game Diablo. Showing no signs of slowing, in 1998 he became the lead designer for real-time strategy game StarCraft. Metzen also worked on the story, script, and artwork for Diablo II, which was released in 2000.

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In 2002, he assumed the role of creative director on Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, where he facilitated the story and script. He would later contribute to the development of 2004's successful MMORPG World of Warcraft. More recently, Metzen served as the creative director for online shooter Overwatch.

Metzen's role expanded beyond that of the development process. He leant his voice to several characters in Blizzard games, including Thrall and Varian in the Warcraft series, the marines in StarCraft, Skeleton King in Diablo, and (rather strangely) Bastion in Overwatch. It is unknown if he will continue to lend his voice talents to these characters, should they appear in subsequent games. Metzen also made a cameo in this year's Warcraft film, a movie he worked on as writer.

Metzen has not been the only notable staff member to leave Blizzard this year. In July, Diablo 3 director Josh Mosqueira announced his departure from Blizzard to "pursue other opportunities." This was preceded by the departure of Jay Wilson, former director of Diablo III.

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