One of the fathers of World of Warcraft, Chris Metzen, is once again working on the Warcraft universe as a creative advisor after leaving 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 work on World of Warcraft initially, but that “his work will eventually expand to other projects across this growing franchise.”
“Chris was one of the original team members working on the Warcraft universe when it began in 1994, and we are so excited to reunite him with the world he helped create,” Hight’s statement said.
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 at WoW. He is the voice of several characters in Blizzard’s MMORPG, most notably 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 leaving Blizzard, Metzen founded his own tabletop gaming company, Warchief Gaming, and has continued to do voice work.
In light of the controversy surrounding an ongoing California state lawsuit from last year alleging a “frat boy” culture of harassment at Blizzard, Metzen issued a statement sorry “for the role I played in a culture that fostered harassment, inequality and indifference.” He went on to state that he had “felt the same shock, disgust and anger as many of you are – and is having trouble reconciling the place I knew, loved and worked for so long with the harsh reality that has been presented in recent days . It’s like staring at two completely different worlds.”
As for what the other Warcraft “projects” Metzen will contribute outside of WoW, it’s no secret that Blizzard has been trying to expand the Warcraft universe into the mobile space in recent years. Warcraft Arclight Rumble, a free-to-play game that harkens back to the franchise’s strategy roots, is currently in closed beta and will be the first mobile game in the franchise to come, with recent reports indicating that several other Warcraft mobile projects have been cancelled.
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