Blizzard’s senior vice president of story and franchise development, Chris Metzen, has retired after nearly 23 years at the developer.

Metzen started working for the firm back when he was a teenager where he created artwork and did character animation for the game Justice League Task Force.

The vice president went on to work on the fictional universe that the Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness centred around. Metzen later proved his storytelling chops to the firm with StarCraft for which he created the script and story with James Phinney.

But it was not until the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos that Metzen would be made a creative director at Blizzard, a role that had him overseeing the story concept of all Blizzard’s games moving forward.

In a blog post announcing his retirement, Metzen wrote, “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.”

A Thrall-ing ride

Metzen’s work at Blizzard is not only limited to storytelling, ardent fans of the Warcraft universe will know that he is the voice of Thrall. The creative director has also voiced a number of characters in StarCraft and Diablo.

Seriously, this guy has voiced everybody from Vol’jin in World of Warcraft, to the original Ghost in StarCraft, the Skeleton King in Diablo and most recently, Varian Wrynn in WoW: Legion.

What’s next?

The now retired vice president said that he will be retiring to be with his family and took time out to say that he has no plans of joining another game developer.

“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.…” wrote Metzen.

As for Thrall, well Metzen doesn’t seem to be in too much of a rush to hang up the Shaman’s voice just yet and announced his intention on Twitter.

All that remains is to wish Metzen well. The stories he has crafted over the years are both convoluted and fascinating and we thank Blizzard for seeing the potential in this lad all those years ago, and of course Metzen himself for giving us stories that will stick with us for decades.

Aka’Magosh Chris.

[Source – Blizzard] [Image – CC BY 2.0 SobControllers]