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Chris Metzen to Retire from Blizzard

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Blizzard's Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development is leaving to spend time with his family.

 

Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development, and generally thought of as Blizzard's "story guy", having been behind the Diablo universe and working on all the Warcraft lore stuff for a long time, has decided to retire after 23 years. Business Insider broke the news and quickly thereafter, the man himself took to the forums to explain:

Blizzard LogoChris Metzen

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.

Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.…

But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes.

My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged.

It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked.

The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together.

I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then:

Creativity is relational.

Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person.

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.

I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens.

It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product.

You build a TRIBE…that can build anything.

A family of craftsmen.

That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as a leader all these years.

To my Blizzard brothers and sisters…I wish I had the words.

Everything just sounds…trite.

All I can think of is…

You helped me believe in myself and achieve every one of my wildest dreams.
I am forever grateful to you.

I love you all with everything I’ve got.

Thank you.

And to all of you out there in Blizzard’s vast gaming community—those of you I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and all of you around the world I’ve only heard about—thank you.

Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft.

With that said, I’ll try to get down to the point, here. I’ve come to a turn in the road. A new, far quieter chapter in my life looms ahead.

I am retiring.

Yup.

Hangin’ up my guns.
Clockin’ out.
Takin’ the last gryphon out of Stormwind.
You get the picture.

Crazy, I know.

It’s a massive change for me, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. It’s ironic given the fact that things have never been better or more energized at Blizzard. Just this year alone has been incredible.

Legion’s arrival.
The launch of Overwatch.
The Warcraft feature film.

I’ve never been more proud of Blizzard and the quality of its products than I am now. It’s remarkable that even after all these years we can still reach new heights and take the world for an amazing ride. I believe Blizzard’s future is brighter than ever.

I won’t lie—it’s going to be really hard stepping away from these worlds that I love. But I’m content that I’m leaving them in the hands of the most passionate, talented, and dedicated craftsmen ever assembled.

I can’t wait to see where Blizzard’s worlds go next—and to experience them first-hand like everyone else does. As a fan. As an adventurer. Right back to the start.

That’s just so cool…

The reason I use the word “retire” is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter.…

Seriously though, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my 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 live…to love my wife with all my strength…that’s my career now.

And I’ve never been happier.

Ever. ☺

Peace out, y’all.

I love you all.

I’ll see you online.

Chris

 

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Awww, I'm sorry to see you go Chris Metzen. You will be missed by me for sure. You were always and will always be my favorite guy in World of Warcraft!! I do like all of the people working for WoW. I have been playing for many years (9 1/2 yrs I believe.)  I am 59 yrs old now and i'm still playing. I will prolly play until my time has come. Oh btw Chris...my daughter is a WoW player to and she brought your new book too!! Love you til the end Chris, TC!! :D

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This is a bit sad, but very understandable, i think Chris is doing the right thing which is stopping while on top while the game is in an a good shape and he still has his good health. To many carreer people continue working for way to long and will never get to enjoy the freedom their hardearned money brought them.

All Hail the mighty Metzen!

"Chis and Chirs" - You spelled Chris' name wrong twice in the start of the text, maybe a quick fix? I mean afterall the man leaves behind a legacy, i think a fix is in order. :)

Edited by Noitacoffus
i had more to say
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Chris Metzen's artwork that they used to put in the old instruction manuals for Warcraft II and Diablo were what inspired me to try my own artistic hand.  GG Chris.

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Wowowowowow, ... just WOW! I would like to take this opportunity to say (from a "little" nobody, as it goes), THANK YOU Chris, for all you have done in your time at Blizzard. Know, that it is noticed, and you will live on forever in our gaming hearts ... all the very best mate, from Shazzy in Australia <3

Edited by shazzmuzik
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Kinda came outta nowhere, but have to respect his decision. Good luck to both him and his family. Absolutely loved everything he did for the game, always enjoyed seeing him in any documentary or panel.

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Don't leave us Chris ... :( It wont be the same with out u at Blizzard ... i am sad to hear that u are leaving us ... i wish you all the best and a happy life :) we will miss u though allot <3 thank you Chris for sharing World of Warcraft with us <3
But i hope we will see u at Blizzcons at least :D
Love you!

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Chris, thanks! Thanks for everything you made for us at Blizzard. I understand your desire to take care of your family! Take care buddy!

Blizzard should add a statue of you in front of their building!

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16 hours ago, Noitacoffus said:

 

"Chis and Chirs" - You spelled Chris' name wrong twice in the start of the text, maybe a quick fix? I mean afterall the man leaves behind a legacy, i think a fix is in order. :)

Yea, sorry about that, between the 8 times I wrote his name on the various social media channels etc I got it wrong several times, was pretty late but no excuses!

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I have to say this news made me very sad. I understand, and I respect, but I grief. There will never be any mind even remotely close to chris'

Good luck to you Chris Metzen. May the Gale winds carry you, friend.

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just realized this is a copy of his msg. Won't do much good to wish him best of luck here. I do hope he enjoys his retirement. 

Edited by Whiskey

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4 hours ago, Whiskey said:

just realized this is a copy of his msg. Won't do much good to wish him best of luck here. I do hope he enjoys his retirement. 

You never know! Maybe he reads them here too ;D

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On 14.09.2016 at 6:52 AM, Shine said:

I have to say this news made me very sad. I understand, and I respect, but I grief. There will never be any mind even remotely close to chris'

Good luck to you Chris Metzen. May the Gale winds carry you, friend.

Thought the exact same thing... we I've firstly seen this I was just sitting there doing nothing for a minute thinking that such a great mind won't do such great things anymore! After all, we could say that we're all here thanks to him!

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2 hours ago, Repeteds said:

After all, we could say that we're all here thanks to him!

I do wonder if he ever sits there and realises just how many people's lives he has changed with the game he helped forge. Marriages, families, all of it.

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17 hours ago, Repeteds said:

Thought the exact same thing... we I've firstly seen this I was just sitting there doing nothing for a minute thinking that such a great mind won't do such great things anymore! After all, we could say that we're all here thanks to him!

I like to think of him sitting with his kids before they go to bed telling them stories that make their imaginations soar. 

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10 hours ago, Whiskey said:

I like to think of him sitting with his kids before they go to bed telling them stories that make their imaginations soar. 

With everything told in the voice of Thrall..

"But Daddy, I want a princess story!"

PRINCESS THRALL VANQUISHED THE ALLIANCE...

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      Classes
      Druid Balance Moonfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. Sunfire damage and periodic damage reduced by 10%. High Noon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Power of the Moon (Azerite Trait) damage increased by 11%. Mage Frost Ice Lance damage increased by 20%. Developers’ note: Ice Lance damage hasn’t kept up with Icicles scaling, making builds that ignore Ice Lance possible. The intent of this change is to give Frost Mages a better incentive to use Ice Lance within their rotation, as a DPS net gain. Monk Brewmaster Stamina bonus reduced to 30% (was 35%). Stagger percentage reduced to 90% of Agility (was 105%). High Tolerance now increases the effectiveness of Stagger by 5% (was 8%). Developers’ notes: Brewmaster’s extremely high effective health against Physical damage meant that they are rarely in danger against spike damage that threatens other tanks. This should still be a strength of Brewmaster, but not by such a wide margin. Fixed a bug causing Gift of the Ox orbs to spawn too often for players with high amounts of Stamina. Mistweaver Rising Mist healing increased 30%, and now extends Heal-over-time effects by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This talent is currently overshadowed on its row, and we want to make sure it’s competitive enough to make its unique playstyle a viable option. Life Cocoon now absorbs for 55% of the caster’s maximum health (was 1100% of the caster’s spellpower). [Coming in a future PTR build] Developers’ note: This ability had gotten weaker compared to player health pools since the start of the expansion, and this will help it better maintain its value. Windwalker Rising Sun Kick damage increased by 25%. Blackout Kick damage increased by 10%. Developers’ note: These changes are intended to help Windwalkers perform better in single-target fights. Paladin Holy Glimmer of Light (Azerite Trait) may now be applied to a maximum of 8 targets. Developers’ notes: Over the past year, builds centered around this trait have steadily pulled ahead of all other Holy Paladin playstyles, and to some extent all other healers in high-end content. This change is meant to preserve the gameplay of the trait, but limit the ability to increase its value drastically by stacking every possible bonus that reduces Holy Shock cooldown. Priest Discipline Atonement healing reduced to 50% (was 55%). Mastery: Grace effectiveness increased by 12%. Developers’ notes: Discipline’s ability to contribute both damage and healing is slightly too high for what one character can bring to a group composition. At the same time, we’re making their Mastery stat slightly more attractive. Schism now increases damage done from Priest spells and abilities only. Developers’ notes: This is intended to be consistent with other class cooldowns. Shadow Auspicious Spirits damage bonus reduced to 25% (was 50%). Fixed a bug causing Spiteful Apparitions (Azerite Trait) to be increased by 75% if you do not have Auspicious Spirits talented. Developers’ notes: The multiplicative interaction between Auspicious Spirits, Spiteful Apparitions, and Chorus of Insanity has specifically been a big part of Shadow’s damage scaling somewhat out of control at high target counts. Chorus of Insanity critical strike bonus reduced by 25%. Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced by 8%. Vampiric Touch damage reduced by 8%. Warlock Affliction Deathbolt now deals 20% of the total remaining damage of the Warlock’s damage over time effects on the target (was 30%). Drain Soul damage increased by 50%. Nightfall now increases the damage of Shadow Bolt by 50% (was 25%), and now activates 33% more often. Developers’ notes: One of the key concepts about Affliction Warlock is spreading damage over time spells on a number of different targets. While Deathbolt keys off these types of spells, it provides more-than-expected burst damage and outperforms the other two talents in every situation. In addition to reducing Deathbolt’s effectiveness, we’re improving the other two options to give more options to Affliction Warlocks. Essences
      Worldvein Resonance Major rank 1, when used, now additionally causes you to gain +50% bonus to stats from Lifeblood Shards for 10 seconds. Vision of Perfection Proc rate increased by 12%. Unbound Force Major rank 1 damage increased by 40%. Minor rank 1 duration increased to 4 seconds (was 3 seconds). Minor rank 3 increase of duration increased to 2 seconds (was 1 second). Purification Protocol Major rank 1 damage increased by 15%. Major rank 2 now has the potential work on targets that are part of raid and dungeon encounters. Vitality Conduit We’ve rebuilt the way this Essences works, and it should be visually more impactful, as you will now see healing on your targets. As always, changes like these are a work in progress. We are likely to make further adjustments for testing throughout the PTR.
      Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!
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