The legendary cocreator of ‘Warcraft,’ ‘Diablo,’ and ‘StarCraft’ is retiring at age 42

Chris Metzen.
Wikimedia Commons

Chris Metzen, the senior vice president of story and franchise development at Blizzard Entertainment who was the legendary cocreator of hit games including “Diablo,” “Warcraft,” and “StarCraft,” is retiring at age 42.

Metzen’s retirement was announced internally to Blizzard employees late Monday afternoon, Business Insider has learned.

Metzen confirmed the move in a post on Blizzard’s forums later on Monday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife, children, and their newborn baby.

“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,” Metzen wrote.

He was with the company for 22 years, seeing it go from a small startup to a global juggernaut in video games.

Metzen is best known to fans of Blizzard’s games, which recently expanded to include the smash-hit shooter “Overwatch,” as the man in charge of each game’s overall story.

In 1996, Metzen cocreated the universe of the smash-hit “Diablo” with Bill Roper, the former Blizzard executive. He also contributed to the setting and design of games including “Warcraft” and its first sequel. In 1998, Roper was the lead designer of the smash-hit space strategy game “StarCraft.”

Since 2002, Metzen served as creative director on many of Blizzard’s games, and he contributed writing and artwork to “World of Warcraft.” Metzen also consulted with director Duncan Jones on the “Warcraft” movie, released just this summer. He also made a cameo in that film.

Over the years, Metzen has also contributed art design and voice-acting work to Blizzard’s games.

Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.