Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Blizzard, has retired.
In a post on the official Blizzard forums, Metzen explained that he is retiring – not quitting or moving elsewhere, full on retiring – so that he can focus on his family more after 23 years of being at the company:
The reason I use the word “retire” is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter.…
Seriously though, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my family. 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.
Metzen has contributed massively to the Blizzard we know today. He was the creative director in every Blizzard game since Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, and most recently Overwatch, all of them had him firmly at the helm.
While Metzen is a controversial figure in the way anybody inheriting a much-loved series is, I’ve always loved how much of an unabashed fanboy of his own work he is. Thrall, the closest thing to a main character Warcraft has, is essentially his own self-insert that he voices (and intends to continue voicing in the future), and Overwatch’s Soldier 76 is an idea he’s wanted to happen for years and years in various forms. I hope I can find a man who looks at me the way Metzen looks at his characters.
I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy, so while it’ll be a shame to see him step away from Blizzard, I hope he enjoys his well-earned retirement.