One of the fathers of World of Warcraft, Chris Metzen, is once again working on the Warcraft universe as a creative advisor after having departed Blizzard in 2016.
The news comes via Warcraft senior vice president and general manager John Hight, who announced the partnership on Twitter. Hight states that Metzen will return to working on World of Warcraft initially, but that in time “his work will expand to other projects across this growing franchise.”
“Chris was one of the original team members working on the Warcraft universe back when it began in 1994, and we are so happy to be reuniting him with the world he helped create,” Hight’s statement reads.
Metzen worked on the Warcraft universe for over 20 years, having served as creative director on Warcraft III and as senior vice president of story and franchise development for much of his time on WoW. He is the voice of multiple characters in Blizzard’s MMORPG, most notably the Horde leader Thrall, a role he has continued to play since leaving Blizzard. But Metzen’s work at Blizzard wasn’t limited to work on Warcraft. He also served as lead designer on Starcraft, worked heavily on Diablo II, and more. Since departing Blizzard, Metzen founded his own tabletop gaming company, Warchief Gaming, and has continued to do voice work.
In light of the controversy revolving around an ongoing state of California lawsuit from last year alleging a “frat boy” workplace culture of harassment at Blizzard, Metzen issued a statement apologizing “for the part I played in a culture that fostered harassment, inequality, and indifference.” He would go on to state that he was “left feeling the same shock, disgust, and anger that many of you are–and having trouble reconciling the place I knew, loved, and worked in for so long with the hard reality that has been presented over the past few days. It’s like staring at two totally different worlds.”
As for what the other Warcraft “projects” Metzen will be contributing to outside of WoW, it’s no secret that Blizzard has sought to expand the Warcraft universe into the mobile space in recent years. Warcraft Arclight Rumble, a free-to-play game that returns to the franchise’s strategy roots, is currently in closed beta. It will be the first mobile game in the franchise to arrive, with recent reports pointing to multiple other Warcraft mobile projects having been canceled.
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