Blizzard veteran Chris Metzen returns to build WoW's 'next generation of adventures'

Metzen, who left the publisher in 2016, is now executive creative director of Warcraft.

Brendan McDermid / reuters

It seems the lure of building the Warcraft universe is irresistible for some folks. Long-time Blizzard lore chief Chris Metzen has returned to the publisher on a full-time basis to help shape the future of the franchise.

Before he retired from Blizzard in 2016, Metzen worked on every Warcraft game, helping to build the story and lore. He eventually became Blizzard's senior vice president of story and franchise development and was involved in all of the studio's projects (he voices Bastion in Overwatch 2, for instance).

Metzen kept himself busy after leaving Blizzard. He opened a tabletop game company called Warchief in 2018. However, he returned to Blizzard in an advisory role last year and now he's fully back in the saddle as Warcraft's executive creative director. His main focus is on "supporting our World of Warcraft leadership in crafting the next generation of adventures," the Warcraft team wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

"It's been amazing working on Warcraft again," Metzen wrote. "Like coming home. The stories we're developing right now — how the world unfolds over the next few years... Well, I can’t wait for y’all to see where we’re headed. SOON..."

You won't have to wait too long to find out what Metzen and the Warcraft team have been working on. Blizzard is planning to reveal some details at BlizzCon, which starts on November 3. We might learn details about the next WoW expansion, which will follow 2022's Dragonflight. Updates on the Warcraft Rumble mobile game, which recently opened up for pre-orders on iOS, may be on deck too.

News of Metzen's return to Blizzard on a full-time basis emerged as the publisher carried out layoffs. It let go 10 people from the Hearthstone division, according to Kotaku reporter Ethan Gach. Activision Blizzard confirmed that it made some roles redundant following organizational changes to the Hearthstone development team.