Chris Metzen was senior vice president of story and franchise development at Blizzard, where he was instrumental in the development of games such as Diablo, Overwatch and World of Warcraft. His roles ranged from creative director to designer of the games. For Blizzard he was one of the indispensable employees. But in 2016 Metzen decided to leave the company. Today, just four years later, the visionary and Mike Gilmartin, former Vice President for Quality Assurance at Bilzzard, who recently left the video game giant, announce their joint board game and tabletop company "Warchief Gaming".

Chris Metzen and Mike Gilmartin not only share their love for video games, but also for analogue board games. As children, the two former Blizzard colleagues gained their first experience with games such as "Dungeons & Dragons" and "Warhammer", which are said to have made a decisive contribution to Metzen's creative development, as he reports in an interview on "Venturebeat".

After Metzen stepped down from his demanding job as Vice President of the global company Blizzard in 2016 due to burnout and fears, which he dealt with openly from the beginning and which the community enjoyed greatly, in order to regain his strength, he spent a lot of time at a board game club in Orange County. The 47-year-old father left the feeling of deep exhaustion behind him more and more and rediscovered his lost creativity.

Board games helped Chris Metzen out of burnout

Metzen flourished again. He wanted to keep this feeling in the future. The decision to continue turning your back on the video game industry was made. With the help of his friend Gilmartin and former Blizzard colleague, the tabletop game company "Warchief Gaming" developed from the games club for tabletop and board games.

In his interview, Metzen says he's passionate about the idea of ​​Warchief Gaming, and while he'll always keep Blizzard in his heart, it's his path. His words are determined and his deep affection for the board game and tabletop genre is clear. There was a possibility that Metzen would eventually follow in his footsteps again, but now he has a desire for a small, creative company. Any other form of company would no longer suit him today.

Gilmartin was always by Metzen's side and encouraged him on his way to open a board game studio in Irvine, California. Gilmartin is certain that popular tabletop and board games offer great potential for licensed products. The visionary could imagine thematically matching toys, comics and films. His friend Metzen might particularly like the prospect of comics, for example as a writer on graphic novels on Warcraft, comics on Transfomers and mangas on StarCraft. Metzen himself keeps board games completely in his focus and would like to start small at first. A large company with "Warchief Gaming" is by no means his plan.

Much more, he wants to tie in with a time before Warcraft and World of Warcraft became global video game hits. While he loved his work at Blizzard at all times, this is said to have been his best time in the video game industry. "Warchief Gaming" should offer space for creativity, fun and board game experiments. Metzen and Gilmartin have decided to always keep the board game and tabletop community in focus. A community that has accompanied Metzen since early childhood and brought joy back into a difficult life with tabletop and role-playing games.

Ryan Collins, who was previously an entertainment game designer at Blizzard, has also joined the Warchief Gaming team. Thus three excellently trained video game professionals and lovers of board games form the strong basis of the company, which the entire board game and tabletop community is eagerly looking forward to.

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