Retirement (pff) was merely a setback. Former Blizzard Entertainment senior vice-president of story and franchise development Chris Metzen officially announced the launch of his new company: Warchief Gaming — which dives into the development of tabletop games.

His new title is co-founder and chief creative officer of Warchief Gaming; and he has been secretly working on this personal project since December 2018.

Alongside him is Mike Gilmartin (former vice-president of quality assurance at Blizzard Entertainment). You can read their interview with VentureBeat here.

You can visit the Warchief Gaming website to learn more about the company and its goals.


Warchief Gaming announces shift from hobbyist haven into premiere tabletop development studio.

Irvine, CA – October 23, 2020 – Today, two former VPs of Blizzard Entertainment, Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development, and Mike Gilmartin, Vice President of Quality Assurance, announced the creation of Warchief Gaming. Previously a tabletop gaming club founded two years ago by the longtime friends, Warchief Gaming is making the leap from a tabletop gaming destination to a brand-new development studio focused on creating tabletop games and telling stories across all media types. The members-only club will remain operational and will be located at the company’s headquarters in Orange County, CA.

“Mike and I had been wargaming together for years,” said Warchief Gaming Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Chris Metzen, “so starting up a club where we could game and hobby with other like-minded geeks seemed like a no-brainer. This whole thing has really brought me back to my roots.“

Founded in 2018, Warchief Gaming was a way for the games industry veterans to create a haven for tabletop gamers in the Southern California area.

“Chris and I wanted to build a space where we could geek out and do our thing,” said Warchief Gaming Co-Founder and President, Mike Gilmartin, “A place with a great culture and a welcoming environment. A place just to hang, even after the gaming’s over.” 

The pivot from gaming club to tabletop development studio felt like a natural one. Having retired from Blizzard over four years ago, Metzen realized he had worlds in his head he wanted to explore on his own terms – and his partnership with Gilmartin offered a strong foundation upon which to build something new. 

Metzen and Gilmartin are committed to enhancing the community and elevating the services that gaming clubs can provide, while at the same time building their own worlds and products. This will continue to be a focus for the Warchief team, and the founders have already tapped the talent of former Blizzard Entertainment game designer Ryan Collins (Hearthstone) as Lead Product Developer to help turn Warchief’s big ideas into reality.

“I missed the creative collaboration I had for so many years at Blizzard,” said Metzen. “It’s amazing to get back to building worlds and telling stories with my friends at Warchief. I feel like I’m twenty again – well, my imagination does, at least.” 

Learn more at and follow Warchief Gaming on LinkedIn: /Warchief. Twitter: @Warchief

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