Ex-Blizzard VP Chris Metzen is starting a tabletop studio: "Dammit, I want to build things again"

Warchief Gaming
(Image credit: Warchief Gaming)

Blizzard veterans Chris Metzen and Mike Gilmartin are starting their own tabletop gaming company - or more accurately, they're turning their gaming club into one.

Metzen previously served as Blizzard's senior vice president of story and franchise development, with credits ranging from creative director of Overwatch to artist and designer on Warcraft 2: Tides of Chaos. He finally retired from the company in 2016, though he has continued voicing Warcraft's orcish hero Thrall since then. Mike Gilmartin was vice president of quality assurance at the company until he retired earlier this year.

Metzen and Gilmartin put together a video message to fans where they explained the roots of their company, Warchief Gaming (which started out as a members-only gaming club in Orange County) and shared their excitement for getting back into creating games, worlds, and stories.

"We built some worlds, we created products, all the things I grew up loving," Metzen said. "Board games, tactical miniatures games, or RPGs, or these stories playing out as novels or comics or animation. I kind of want to do it all again. I want to do it smart, and I want to do it slow. I'm a little older, and a little wiser. But dammit, I want to build things again. And that's what I've taken from the last two years, and it's an absolute gift to feel this passion again."

Metzen added that it's still too early for Warchief to announce any of the specific projects it's working on, but it will start sharing more "over the next month or so" on the company's official website. Oh, and the club's sticking around too, in case you want to try to get a membership and play some Warhammer 40,000.

New stuff aside, that sounds like a rad gaming club. Fortunately, you don't need to become a member to play the best board games at home.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.