For those of you who don’t know of Chris Metzen, you’re really missing out. Seriously, go watch any of his interviews. I’ll wait.
Back? Good, nice to see you again. Now did you see the passion this man has for his franchise? That’s more than dedication, that’s a deep and profound love.
Chris Metzen is retiring from Blizzard. Which is a very honest shock to me. His title was Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development, and boy, did he develop.
Metzen was first hired at the tender age of twenty in 1993 by Blizzard (back then it was Chaos Studios) as an artist and animator working on Justice League Task Force as well as contributing illustrations, in-game documentation, and art to Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.
It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked.A Message from Chris Metzen
From there he helped create the world of Diablo, as well as providing voice acting for it and other titles. StarCraft saw him as the lead designer in 1998, and with James Phinney wrote the story and script for it as well.
In 2002, Metzen was promoted to creative director, applying his various creative talents and leadership to many of the titles Blizzard produced, including Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft in 2005. Most of you WoW nerds know he’s the voice of Thrall, King Varian Wrynn, and half-a-dozen other characters central or not.
Okay, okay. I think that’s enough background for now. If you want more, check out the Wiki that I got much of this from. For nearly 23 years, this man has brought stories loved and hated, plots revered and reviled to the games that millions of us love through his art, writing, and leadership. Every BlizzCon that I had ever seen featured Metzen come on the stage with a wild eruption from the crowd, and he would stir them into a frenzy as he asked who was “FOR THE HORDE!” and “FOR THE ALLIANCE!” It was always full of excitement and zeal!
Did you catch that? Twenty-freaking-three years! Again I say, that’s love, people. So why the decision to retire?
Well, in many cases, talents will jump-ship for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it’s more money. Sometimes it’s the prospect of exploring different creative venues. Chris wants to spend more time with his family.
It’s the truest and purest of noble ventures. A job like his is not one that’s 40 hours a week. It’s 24-7. I can only imagine that his wife put up with it all these years because she seems like an equally passionate geek! And as sad as we Blizzard fans are to see him go, I think it’s safe to say that we can’t wait to all wish him the best of luck and love in caring for his family. May your story be as exciting and moving as the ones you’ve provided us over these many years.
Oh, and you better keep doing BlizzCon and VO, Chris!
While he's not reminiscing fondly over his ill-gotten acorn collection, you can also catch him pretending to know anything at all about audio while trying to produce this train wreck they call a podcast in his "studio," which is nothing more than an multidimensional pocket shimmed between the fabric of space-time. That's where sasquatches live, you know.