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Metzen Statue Unveiled at Blizzard HQ

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The planned statue featuring Chris Metzen and baby Winston has been spotted at Blizzard HQ!


The news that Chris Metzen, lore guru and world creator, was leaving Blizzard left everyone pretty shocked, but Blizzard did announce a pretty great going away present for the man in the form of a statue at Blizzard HQ. This work of art features him and a baby Winston, since Overwatch was his latest creation, or "baby", and he put all of himself into it. Today Peter Sung, a  program manager at Blizzard, shared this image of the statue, giving us our first live look at it:

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The base of the statue is particularly impressive, with all the franchises Metzen has worked on featured prominently. The image itself is inspired by the one of Walt Disney with Mickey, making baby Winston even more appropriate for it (although we'd still have loved to see Thrall included somewhere in there). Here are a few excerpts from his farewell post when his leaving was first announced (but you really should read the whole thing, even if you already have!):

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.
...

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.
....

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.
...

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

For even more info into why exactly he left the company he created so many worlds for, you can also check out his in-depth interview with Scott Johnson of the Instance podcast. Here are a few highlights from that interview, featuring his time during Titan development:

Quote

"I think during those years I burned out really hard. I think in my heart, I needed a change in my life. I wanted to slow down, I wanted to just not carry the weight of it all. But when you've been at a company like Blizzard for as long as I have, I think about Shawshank Redemption: I'm an institutional man now. I'm a Blizzard guy, through and through. I love that place. I love the people. It made me feel schizophrenic.
...

I started having panic attacks left and right and just non-stop anxiety. Before I finally retired, I think I had been having panic attacks all the time, but I didn't know what they were. Kat and I would go on dates to go to a movie and almost all the time, I would start panicking in the middle of a movie. I had no idea what was going on."


And here's the man himself looking at the plans for this very statue at his retirement party, with Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime:

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So, from all of us WoW people, it's been a long enough break now, right Chris? You got your stature, now it's time to come back to work! (Did it work?)

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Chris has been, and will be, missed. BlizzCon wasn't quite the same without him. He had a rapport with the audience... he felt like one of us. A gamer that never really believed he had become part of the magic.

I cannot imagine the stress he was under. Any little mistake was likely to be called out, and sometimes in front of millions.

My most vivid memory of him was when he introduced Overwatch to us for the first time. He was visibly shaking like a leaf. My husband and I kept that as a happy memory, because Overwatch not only took off, but became wildly popular; finding out after that interview about his anxiety casts a pall of sadness over the memory. The man may have been suffering a panic attack right in front of us.

So yes, I miss him, but I wouldn't wish him back in that position. He deserves every moment of that retirement.

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If he is the reason (as u mention Overwatch being his creation) that Blizzard switched from diabolic dark themes to cartoonish child disney stuff then I'm glad he left. Lores in D3 and Starcraft 2 took totally different, boring and wrong approach. Also it's my biggest disappointment that Starcraft went to bad american love story from interesting  politic theme

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3 hours ago, Kaelos said:

If he is the reason (as u mention Overwatch being his creation) that Blizzard switched from diabolic dark themes to cartoonish child disney stuff then I'm glad he left. Lores in D3 and Starcraft 2 took totally different, boring and wrong approach. Also it's my biggest disappointment that Starcraft went to bad american love story from interesting  politic theme

Metzen has been with Blizzard for a -really- long time.

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10 hours ago, Kaelos said:

If he is the reason (as u mention Overwatch being his creation) that Blizzard switched from diabolic dark themes to cartoonish child disney stuff then I'm glad he left. Lores in D3 and Starcraft 2 took totally different, boring and wrong approach. Also it's my biggest disappointment that Starcraft went to bad american love story from interesting  politic theme

I actually agree with you on Diablo and Starcraft, but I think the cartoony aspect really works well for Overwatch. He wasn't the lead writer for either D3 or SC2 but I don't know if he had a hand in shaping the story.

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