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Chris Metzen

"Good fucking riddance Chris Metzen is gone!!"



by 13 Jurors

Chris Metzen is an American game designer, artist, voice actor and author known for his work creating the fictional universes and scripts for Blizzard Entertainment's three major award-winning media franchises: Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft. On occasion, Metzen has published his art under the alias "Thundergod". Metzen was hired by Blizzard Entertainment as an animator and an artist; his first work for the company was with the video game Justice League Task Force.

Metzen is currently the Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard Entertainment and has assisted the company's projects by providing voice talent for a number of characters, as well as contributing to artistic character design. Outside of Blizzard Entertainment, Metzen authored a graphic novel series based on a futuristic second American civil war.

In his most recent side-project, Metzen co-authored the "digital-only" series turned Trade Paperback release, "Transformers: Autocracy" (July 25, 2012: ISBN 1613772904 / ISBN 978-1613772904 ) with author Flint Dille and artist Livio Ramondelli. The same team is current working on the follow-up series, "Transformers: Monstrosity".

Slide me!

150 characters remaining.


Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Yvyer Von posted a review

There are a lot of guys in the higher up who thrive not by talents but by luck or the people they know. I guess Chris Metzen is one of those guys.

He wrote terrible stories. He absolutely does not belong in the gaming industry as a creative writer. He took a keen interest in writing cringy redemption stories following the same pattern again and again toward the later part of his career. Starcraft 1 used to have a decent story until Metzen went nuts and turn it into Warcraft in space in Starcraft 2 with those prophecy bullcrap. 

Warcraft 3's story is basically Starcraft in a fantasy setting. Nerzhul is the Overmind. Arthur=Kerrigan. Night Elves = Protoss. Burning Legion = Xel'Naga aka the mastermind behind everything.

Don't even get me started on Diablo 3. A franchise cannot be butchered, no pun intended, by worse writing. The worst part is that Blizzard is delusional enough to deny how bad their writing is:

Question: About the dialogue and story. You brought in some nice talent to do the voices for the game (some examples being Jennifer Hale as Leah, Steve Blum as Zoltun Kulle, and my favorite, Claudia Black as Cydaea). However some of the lines of dialogue in the game just made me cringe. I mean Belial isn’t a great liar, Azmodan is constantly telling me what he’s doing, and “I AM THE PRIME EVILLLLL!” I know at Blizzard, gameplay always comes first which is great and I think you did a fantastic job, but that doesn’t mean story isn’t important; So uhh… no offense intended, but really, what happened? Did your QA team not say anything or what?

Answer: Agree to disagree? We get lots of compliments on the story and dialogue. It's a hard area to make everyone happy, and a lot of things we do to make goals obvious for some players make them feel over-stated to others. We never tried to make War and Peace, just a decent pulpy story about heroes fighting demons.

Question: The story of Diablo 3 has received a lot of criticism for both its actual content and writing and for its presentation (e.g. intrusive cutscenes and linear "on rails" progression). I love the game, but must admit some heavy disappointment when it came to furthering and enriching the lore of the Diablo universe.

What lessons have you learned from the backlash that you plan to apply to D3's expansions or further games in the franchise (or even other Blizzard titles)?

Answer: We answered this question in other threads, but the recap is: we disagree and have gotten mostly great feedback on the story.

Question: The antagonists in Diablo 3 were essentially caricatures of generic bad guys. Often times they monologue completely unrealistically. Looking back, are you disappointed with how some characters (Maghda, Azmodan) turned out? How do you plan to improve on the storytelling in the next expansion?

Answer: We've commented on story several times now. The majority of feedback we've gotten on story has been positive. I'm sorry your experience varied.

I really wonder whether this is the common consensus without Blizzard. This cannot possibly be true.

Anyway, with Metzen gone, I hope Blizzard can begin to write some good stories. Overwatch is a good start.

on June 28, 2017

Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Dafaq Watson submitted a post

Blizzard's Chris Metzen retired from the video game industry earlier this year at the age of 42, which came as a surprise for someone who had helped create so many beloved franchises, including Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. When he retired, Metzen was the senior vice president of story and franchise development and, to many, the face of Blizzard.

In an episode of The Instance (via Eurogamer), Metzen spoke to podcaster Scott Johnson about why he left the company he had been with for more than two decades.

"Leaving Blizzard was an incredibly difficult thing," Metzen explained. "I'd been there since, essentially, I was a kid. I think I was 19 when I got hired and it was my whole life, it was my identity. And it was in many ways, all-consuming. It was just incredible, but there can be a cost sometimes to running that hard."

Metzen also talked about the years leading up to the release of Blizzard's first-person shooter Overwatch, which like a phoenix, rose from the ashes of a cancelled game known as Project Titan. It was supposed to be the next big thing in the MMO space, but after seven years in development, it was cancelled. Metzen says he "burned out really hard" during those years.

"I think in my heart, I needed a change in my life," he said. "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."

Unfortunately, even after Overwatch launched and became a huge success, Metzen felt the lasting impact of his stress.

"I started having panic attacks left and right and just non-stop anxiety," he explained. "Before I finally retired, I think I had been having panic attacks all the time, but I didn't know what they were. Kat [Metzen's wife] 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."

The panic attacks coupled with his newborn daughter pushed Metzen to make the difficult choice of retiring.

on November 18, 2016

Arse Perin It seems the iframe does not work?


Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Cool Joe posted a review

Possibly the nerdiest man in games, Chris Metzen, is hanging up his pen, paper and whatever else senior vice-presidents of creative development use. With credits on a massive number of Blizzard’s games, from World of Warcraft back to Justice League and all the way up to Overwatch, he’s retiring to be with his family at age 42, nearly 23 years after joining Blizzard. In a heartfelt post on the official forums, he said his goodbyes to the community and company alike.

His last credited work is rather good, read why in our WoW: Legion review.

In true, rambling Metzen style, he begins by recounting his childhood days of playing D&D before talking about the tough early days of making games at Blizzard, and thanking the players and co-workers alike. “In short, I’ve had the time of my life” he says.

He makes it very clear that he won’t be popping up elsewhere and it is a true retirement, at least from making games. “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…”

He cites his third child as the reason for him taking a step back, with a lot of family responsibilities to attend to. He ends by saying he’s never been happier.

The response by the community has been overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the 40 pages of replies to the thread on the World of Warcraft forums alone. This was mirrored on other official forums, as well as various Reddit threads. While some story decisions made under his tenure - not all by him, it must be stressed - have been controversial, he remains highly regarded as someone who created worlds and characters that people grew up with across two decades and continue to love today.

Chris Metzen also, simply, is Blizzard personified. You can see how company culture, or at least what is broadcast outwardly, was built up around his particular brand of rock star nerdism and total lack of embarrassment. If anyone was going to have eight-foot tall statues of his creations in the lobby, it’s Metzen. His phraseology became the language of the company from press releases, to interviews, to casual conversation and his enthusiasm was similarly infectious.

Nobody could quite string an announcement out like Metzen, nobody else would get away with going unscripted to a stage as big as the BlizzCon opening ceremony and someone in his position of seniority is rarely as open. He was an exceptionally good interview, not least because he always seemed to be on the verge of revealing everything, to the frustration of co-workers and marketing planners alike.

He also said his goodbyes via his rarely-used Twitter account and mentioned that he was intending to keep playing Thrall, one of various voice-acting roles he’s held over the years and the most major character left in active development. Whether that will be the limit of his involvement in the company remains to be seen - Overwatch particularly is gathering steam as a multi-media project and Metzen’s probably not done making superheroes yet.

on September 26, 2016

Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Dave Blank posted a review

And probably good riddance. I don't know what to make of it yet. But here's Blizzard's farewell gift to Metzen, a table top trophy.

Make no mistake, I'd still consider him a big part of Blizzard's success, despite the terrible trope he put into his writing.

on September 17, 2016

Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Jimmy Houstor posted a review

Chris was a rockstar. That guy you saw on stage at Blizzard? That's 100% legit Metzen. He'd call us brothers and sisters. He'd call us cats. I think once he called me baby. I can't get away with talking like that, but he didn't fake it. That's who he was. He bleeds for his story, his characters, Blizzard, and most importantly, the players.

I first met him at a party, a few years before I went to work at Blizzard. He yelled at the top of his voice in a Scottish (dwarvish?) accent the entire time.

Sometimes in meetings he would get a far off stare, and you'd know something was bubbling up inside his mind and something great was about to come out.

Once at Blizzcon, he hugged me for like a really long time in the middle of a busy men's room. We blocked the doorway and made a lot of people wait in line that much longer.

A possibly apocryphal story: when Kaplan was new to Blizzard, Metzen came into his office, crashed on the couch for like an hour nap, woke up, asked "Do you know why they won't let us drink at work any longer?" Got up and left. (P.S. Blizzard let us drink at work all the time, so I'm not sure what that was all about.)

And maybe my favorite story. At a Blizzcon party we were all at, there was inexplicably a bowl of powdered donuts with the snacks. Chris took a donut, rubbed it under his nose (so that there's this light dusting of white powder) and then left it there all night as he bearhugged and did the Top Gun high-five to everyone at the party.

He's one of the top 5 or so most authentic and yet almost supernatural forces I've ever met. I am lucky to know him.

on September 15, 2016

Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Maurice Reith posted a review

I'm a bit jealous that Metzen can retire at the age of 42. I doubt this is a true retirement. More like a hiatus "I need a few years off to think about what to do next".

on September 13, 2016

Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Anonymous posted a review

My man Christ Metzen has gone through ups and downs, but the last thing he deserves is jab. The man brings the energy of a thousand people to the stage. This guys have been with Blizzard for over 20 years. He played a big role in the success of the company. Their games always show the love and respect they have not only for industry, but art and entertainment in general.

I'll miss him tremendously.

on September 13, 2016

Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

img Noel Zacharek posted a review

Here's the letter from 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.


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.


I love you Chris, but good riddance. Metzen's stories with SC2, Diablo 3 and WoW: Cataclysm marked the beginning of some of the worst stories I've ever seen from AAA titles. The cringeworthy dialogue and cinematic trope were unbearable. I still respect him in many ways. He's behind the scenes of the games I've spent years upon years of my life playing. I'm just glad that he's gone.

on September 13, 2016

img Johnny Isiah posted a review

All of his games involve some sort of "prophecies". Prophecy is easy plot device because they need not further explaining. Chris Metzen is really a class F writer.

Thanks for butchering the SC lore.

on November 10, 2015

Dennis Westwood Fuck you, Chris Metzen


img Anonymous posted a review

Reflecting back on StarCraft 2’s first installment, Wings of Liberty, Metzen views it with a mix of pride and a healthy dose of writer’s self-loathing. To get ready for Legacy of the Void, he popped in Wings of Liberty just a few weeks ago to play the campaign again. The nostalgia trip came with a few bruises.

"I was like, oof, over and over again, oh my God, this sounded so good at the time," Metzen says. "Oh my God, it’s terrible."

Among those storylines that didn’t make the cut was a serious "down and out" drinking problem for Raynor. The missions Metzen wanted showed Raynor screwing up in some way, even after players successfully achieved their goal. People would end up hurt, but eventually, Raynor would overcome his personal demons and find redemption.

"At the time, the team was just like, ‘Why? It’s unnecessary,’" Metzen says. "‘I just wanna see things nuked! I want to feel badass right out of the gate.’ That’s perfectly valid. If I were writing a novel about it, it might have been great.

"But in developing these fictions for games, you gotta remember, people just want to feel powerful and effective. If the first X minutes of your gameplay, the first X missions in a narrative wave, if you just feel kinda cruddy and icky and low, you’re not gonna stick with it. You’re not gonna enjoy it or bring out this heroic thing that we were really chasing, for the most part, in the first place."

Despite whatever clumsiness remains, he says, he’s still happy for the work he put in. Writing for games isn’t easy, and working on your craft requires putting your heart out there again and again.

"It’s just writers, right," he says. "We’re always like, oh, God, why did that sound like such a good idea at the time? But at the same time, as crude as things can look in hindsight, I’m super proud of it too. ... It all started somewhere. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare. It doesn’t have to be perfect. What is perfect? We want to build these things as best we can.

"You aren’t afforded the ability to be all that precious. You gotta push passionately."

Wings of Liberty is home to many themes and stories that Metzen felt passionately about when it was made. Sometimes that makes it harder to reflect on.

"Looking back at the writing stuff over time, there’s stuff that I’m super embarrassed by," Metzen says. "Whether it was just bad writing, or there were ideas that were really important to me at the time — but I look back and I feel exposed, chasing themes or story moments that meant a lot to me at the time. But for every one of those, I’m equally proud of having taken the step, taken a stand, clumsy as it all may have been. It was real. It was pure art at the time."

on November 9, 2015

Johnny Isiah Aren't you embarrassed, Chris Metzen?

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Chris Metzen

Good fucking riddance Chris Metzen is gone!!
Book rating: 14.4 out of 100 with 13 ratings