Blizzard leadership has had many shakeups over the years, but none hurt more than the retirement of the beloved developer and Thrall himself, Chris Metzen. He was one of the original creative minds behind many Blizzard games, including a lot of work on World of Warcraft and Overwatch before retiring in 2016. In a surprise announcement, Blizzard has confirmed that Chris Metzen is returning to Blizzard as creative advisor to the company.
Metzen’s focus initially will be entirely on World of Warcraft, but his work will eventually expand to “other [Blizzard] projects across this growing franchise.” Metzen had been with Blizzard since the beginning and oversaw the success of the original and most well-regarded expansions in World of Warcraft, including The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. On top of this, he was a staple in the creation of the Diablo and Starcraft series. He also had his hands in the creative setting development for Overwatch. This news definitely comes with a collective cheer from Blizzard fans.
Before retiring, Metzen was the senior vice president of creative design and story development, but he is more widely recognized by fans as the voice actor for the former chieftain of the Horde, Thrall. In the past few years, he has taken this mantle up again, appearing in the Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands expansions as the character, but never actually returning to Blizzard as anything more than lending his voice.
Since his retirement from Blizzard, Metzen started a tabletop gaming company called Warchief Gaming in 2018 and co-authored two Transformers graphic novels. His voice also appeared in the Netflix show The Dragon Prince. Here’s hoping that only good things come from him picking up this mantle again.