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Lead Overwatch writer leaves Blizzard after 20 years at the company

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Michael Chu, best known as the lead writer and lore master on Overwatch, is leaving Blizzard after 20 years at the company.

According to Chu's IMDb and MobyGames profiles, he joined Blizzard in 2001 as a tester on Diablo 2. He moved into main game design with World of Warcraft in 2004, the same year he left Blizzard for a brief stint at Obsidian where he worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2. 

Since his return to Blizzard in 2007, Chu has worked on and/or written for two WoW expansions - The Burning Crusade and Warlords of Draenor - as well as the Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls expansion. But it's his work on Overwatch, crafting the backstories for its heroes and sculpting the world around them, that people remember most clearly. Overwatch holds a special place in Chu's heart, too: on his blog, he affirmed that "Overwatch has been a life-changing experience."

"I have always felt that games and the stories they tell have the unique ability to bring people closer together, and that the empathy you feel from stepping into someone else’s shoes, even virtually, can bridge the gap between miles, cultures, and nations," Chu writes. "Overwatch and its consistently generous and inspiring community have only reinforced that belief."

"Now, as I head out through the Blizzard doors for the last time, I have new dreams: to continue to tell these stories and build worlds that unite people through games," he adds. "To help create an inclusive world where more people will want to share stories that reflect their own experiences."

It's unclear where Chu will head next, but there's little doubt he's still interested in telling stories through games. Likewise, it's unclear why Chu chose to leave Blizzard in the midst of development on Overwatch 2, which will apparently push the story and PvE side of the game more than the original. 

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As a staff writer and former freelancer, Austin focuses on day-to-day news happenings which serve as the perfect cover-up for his Destiny 2 column. He majored in journalism, loves to hate headlines, and never takes his Switch out of the dock.