Today it was announced that Chris Metzen, one of the minds behind the Diablo universe, lead designer of StarCraft, creative director of Warcraft III: Reigns of Chaos, and overall extremely decorated Blizzard veteran, would be returning to the role of Creative Director of the “Warcraft Universe.” What exactly does that mean? It looks like we’ll be finding out more at BlizzCon in November. See the full announcement below:
It’s pretty vague, but a very good sign for the franchise’s health. Metzen has continually provided voice work for Warcraft’s number 1 “Green Jesus,” Thrall, though his involvement since his retirement in 2016 has been tenuous. He returned to Blizzard last December as a “Creative Advisor,” but it looks like his role just got a significant upgrade in title and, presumably, involvement.
Senior retention at Blizzard has been rocky for many years, with plenty of veteran designers breaking away to start their own studios, such as Dreamhaven and Frost Giant. The return of one of the studio’s most vital figures at a time when the future seems increasingly uncertain is undoubtedly a good omen, at least for the Warcraft side of things.
I’ve been saying for a while that retail WoW has been in a very happy place the last few years, with fans and newcomers alike generally in agreement that Dragonflight is a good expansion, at least in comparison to the last few offerings. But whether Metzen’s involvement with the “universe” of Warcraft means much at all for the behemoth MMO remains to be seen.
Could he be working on WoW? WoW Classic? Or something else entirely, like a proper Warcraft sequel? If you’re eagerly awaiting an update (like I am), BlizzCon takes place from Friday, November 3, to Saturday, November 4.