Blizzard's long-standing SVP of story and franchise development, Chris Metzen, is leaving the studio after over two decades at the helm.
Metzen isn't moving on to pastures new, but is instead retiring to spend more time with his family.
"Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person," he wrote.
"For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too)."
After joining in 1994, Metzen helped the developer push out Justice League Task Force, providing key artwork and character animation.
He also contributed various artwork and illustrations to Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, before becoming more deeply involved in the Warcraft universe with the creation of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness -- which gave him the chance to design scenarios and missions while fleshing out the series' lore.
Metzen soon became an key member of Blizzard's creative team, working alongside fellow designer Bill Roper to craft Diablo's fictional universe, serving as the lead designer on Starcraft, and taking control of Warcraft III as the game's creative director -- which subsequently became his default role for most Blizzard projects, including Overwatch.
"It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter," added Metzen.
"I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world -- my family. They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration."