Chris Metzen, Blizzard Entertainment storyteller and senior VP, retires

Metzen plans to focus 'on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world-my family.'


Blizzard Entertainment senior VP and game designer Chris Metzen announced his retirement late yesterday, September 12.

In a lengthy forum post written by Metzen and posted on on his behalf, Blizzard's legendary designer and storyteller recapped his career and the opportunities it afforded him. "I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life."

Creators rarely sit still for long, but for now, Metzen plans to spend some much-needed time at home with his 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 love my wife with all my strength...that’s my career now."

Metzen played a pivotal role in shaping virtually all of Blizzard's three main properties: WarCraft, Diablo, and StarCraft. Metzen joined Blizzard Entertainment when he was 20, and got his start animating characters for the Super NES version of Justice League Task Force, a one-on-one fighter featuring DC characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. (Condor, Inc., which later became Blizzard North, developed the Genesis version.)

From there, Metzen dived head-first into mapping out story scenarios and dialogue for WarCraft II. Although Diablo was primarily shaped by Blizzard North, Metzen was instrumental in fleshing out its story. He wrote all of the lore chronicled in Diablo's excellent game manual, as well as the connective tissue that tied quests scripted by North's developers to the rich history Metzen wrote at the Entertainment office.

Metzen took the lead on creative direction, coming up with most of the characters and plot that took Terran, Protoss, and Zerg forces through the StarCraft, its Brood War expansion, and its trilogy of sequels, which kicked off 10 years later.

He was heavily involved in other hits from World of WarCraft to Diablo III. "For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too). In short, I’ve had the time of my life."

In closing, Metzen assured his millions of fans that he's "never been happier. Ever. Peace out, y’all. I love you all. I’ll see you online."

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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