World of Warcraft Director Leaves Popular Game, Moving on to Blizzard's Next MMO

By Chris Faylor, Feb 12, 2009 2:29pm PST Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan has left his post as the director of the popular PC MMO World of Warcraft in order to help out with the company's unannounced "next-gen MMO."

"World of Warcraft has been such a central part of my life these past six and a half years, and it's success would not have been possible without the tremendous community around it, so I wanted to say thank you to all our players who've shared this amazing experience with us so far," he wrote in a forum post noticed by WoW Insider.

Kaplan noted that he still plans to be involved in World of Warcraft's future, adding that "partners in crime" Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brac will now handle day to day operations.

"When all is said and done, WoW is still my favorite game. I play it every day. None of that passion is gone," he concluded. "If anything, it fuels the challenge of making our next MMO even better. We know we have some big shoes to fill."

As of late December, World of Warcraft had 11.5 million active subscribers worldwide.

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  • Millions of spiral notebooks filled with secretly scribbled notes about lost continents, ancient legends, terrible dragons and the last hope of a ruined people. Untold reams of graph paper detailing forgotten dungeons, floating castles, and the inhospitable lairs of creatures born of the darkest album cover or van art.

    There are so many who secretly weave these tales, good or bad, of a world of fantasy. Most of the time they grow and die in the owners head, forever shamed as thoughts of a social outcast, even mentioning them would be verboten. Yet a few have the courage to share these tales, sweaty stories told over burped sodas and becheetoed fingers in basements and game rooms across the world. Fewer still find themselves able to tell the story on a larger stage, perhaps with an actual published story book or comic. The lucky and the prolific find themselves in film or television, or designing a game, weaving bits and pieces of their hidden world into whatever task that is in front of them. They compromise to demands of the producers, publishers, network or whomever, but they still have a louder voice than most.

    Then there's this dude, who has 11 million people forking over 15 some odd bucks a month to play in his sandbox. Man.