Blizzard is still be one of the biggest video game developers in the world, with several blockbuster franchises under its belt but over the past few years the company has definitely been going through changes. Not just in the overall quality of its games or the way it interact with fans, but largely because of the loss of key personnel who have been moving onto new ventures.
Four years after the departure from the game studio and having contributed towards the creation of games such as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch, Chris Metzen has revealed that alongside former VP of Quality Assurance at Blizzard, Mike Gilmartin, that he has started a new tabletop gaming company called Warchief Gaming.
Warchief Gaming is currently just serving as a place where gamers can come together and play a variety of tabletop games together, but the company has announced that it is going to be stepping into the actual development of tabletop experiences as well. VentureBeat has a detailed interview with both Metzen and Gilmartin, discussing their love for boardgames and why they changed gears from producing culture-shaping games and have ventured into the world of tabletop gaming instead:
Tabletop is where I learned to be creative with my friends growing up, playing D&D, playing Warhammer. 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
This doesn’t demand hundreds of people. It just demands the right people. I’m excited by that, by the simplicity of that. Making richer creative relationships that way, that run a little deeper, that aren’t so frenetic in the way that the pace of making video games can bChris Metzen
Working on a small board game might seem like a very different experience than the big digital epics that the duo are used to working on at Blizzard, but many of the game design elements will remain the same. While board gaming is definitely not as lucrative a market as videogames are, it is a growing space and if you can come up with an addictive experience, you can certainly find success even if it’s at a smaller scale. Though perhaps the timing of this may not be the best, considering how most people can’t actually meet up to play with other groups due to COVID-19.
Maybe Metzen and Gilmartin can bring some of that Blizzard magic which made their digital games so addictive to these board games, and that once people can play together again, we could see a further resurgence and growth in the tabletop market.
Last Updated: November 3, 2020