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Retired Blizzard veteran Chris Metzen is coming back to Warcraft

Six years after he left the company

Blizzard have revealed that former Warcraft lore maestro Chris Metzen is returning as creative advisor for the series. Metzen had retired back in 2016 after decades of working on Warcraft and Blizzard’s other games. The return was shared by Warcraft general manager Jon Hight in a statement posted to Twitter, which confirmed that Metzen will initially return to the company to work on the long-running World Of Warcraft. It’s expected that Metzen will follow that up by moving onto other connected projects.

Liam and Ed wonder if anyone still has the time to start playing WOW these days.

“Chris was one of the original team members working on the Warcraft universe back when it began in 1994,” Hight said, “and we are so happy to be reuniting him with the world he helped create.” As AliceO noted when Metzen retired in 2016, a lot of different aspects of Warcraft had felt his influence during the nearly a quarter of a century of his career spent at Blizzard. Metzen even voiced orc shaman Thrall. He’d also acted as creative director of Overwatch, Warcraft 3, and for World Of Warcraft and its early expansions. Blizzard’s president Mike Ybarra shared Hight’s message and welcomed Metzen’s return.

Metzen wasn’t at Blizzard when the State of California sued the company in 2021 after a two-year investigation into its workplace culture, having moved into tabletop gaming with his company Warchief after his retirement. Despite that, Metzen put out a statement to say that he felt that Blizzard’s culture had “failed”, and there was “no excuse”. “We 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,” Metzen said. “I wish my apology could make any kind of difference. It can't.”

World Of Warcraft is downloadable from Battle.net, but does charge a monthly subscription. The game’s latest expansion, Dragonflight, launched in November and costs £40/$50/€50.


Activision Blizzard are currently the subject of a number of legal actions, labour disputes and allegations of workplace harassment. Rock Paper Shotgun will continue to write about these issues, as well as covering Activision Blizzard games as part of our commitment to cover subjects of interest to our readers. The latest news can always be found under our Activision Blizzard tag.

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CJ Wheeler

News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.

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