For 22 years, Chris Metzen was one of the chief creative minds behind the games developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Metzen stepped down from his position within Blizzard to finally take a break in 2016 but has returned recharged with a new tabletop gaming company called Warchief Gaming. Warchief Gaming was founded by Metzen and Mike Gilmartin in 2018, the latter of whom left Blizzard Entertainment earlier this year, but the company has only recently gone public.
Throughout the past few years, notable Blizzard employees have been leaving the company to start their own ventures within the space.
After being acquired by Activision, friction between the company and its employees — primarily in the areas of work hours, pay, and job security — has only increased.
Metzen's venture is a little different in its timeline, but also in its medium. Tabletop games have always been a cousin to video games, but Metzen is the first former Blizzard brigadier to forego the virtual realm with his new company.
“Tabletop is where I learned to be creative with my friends growing up, playing D&D, playing Warhammer,” Metzen told VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi. “Loving these ideas and playing these games in the same space as my best friends. Those are some of my most cherished memories. At 47, I come back to that. Even after that glorious Blizzard experience, I want that intimate scale again. This is my path.”
Warchief Gaming is the first company created by former gaming executives that exclusively focuses on tabletop, but expect many to follow in its path over the next few years due to Metzen's resume and the recent success of Riot Games' new tabletop game Tellstones: King's Gambit.
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