Tom Chilton, long time Game Designer, has been with World of Warcraft since Alpha in 2004. Tom just recently announced that he will be handing over the reigns of Game Director to Lead Developer, Ion Hazzikostas. He is not leaving Blizzard but stated he is working on a new “Blizzard” project, which makes you wonder of the possibilities of a new World of Warcraft in the works.
Greetings fellow WoW players,
It’s been a little over a month since we launched Legion, and it’s been awesome to see players enjoying so many different aspects of the expansion—leveling up their characters and Artifacts, diving into World Quests, taking on the Emerald Nightmare. Legion PvP Season 1 is going strong, and some of the best Arena teams from around the world are competing for a chance to battle on the big stage at BlizzCon.
Soon we’ll be releasing our first new content update for the expansion—Patch 7.1: Return to Karazhan—which opens up the Mythic 5-player Karazhan dungeon, continues the story of Suramar, introduces a new raid, and adds even more World Quests and other content. But that’s just the start of it, as we have what we believe to be an extremely exciting patch plan for the rest of the expansion.
For me, Legion has been more than just another expansion, though—it’s the culmination of more than a decade of work with one of the best development teams I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of. And it’s with a mix of excitement, sadness, and gratitude that I’m saying farewell to the WoW team and moving on to a new adventure within Blizzard.
In 2004, before I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to serve as game director, I started on the World of Warcraft team as a senior game designer. As you can imagine, World of Warcraft was quite a bit different in 2004. Early that year, there were just 60 of us on the team. Around that time in the Friends and Family Alpha, questing was only available up to level 25—for the Alliance only—and the Horde wasn’t playable at all. Some players were even using dial-up modem connections to access the test.
Many on the team still debated on whether the Horde and Alliance should be separated into factions. (We know how that one turned out.) Several other core features of the game didn’t even exist, including raids and PvP. We’ve come a long way since then, with six expansions under our belts to go along with countless raids, dungeons, Battlegrounds, features, and more.
My personal journey working on WoW as Game Director is at an end, but my journey with Blizzard isn’t. I’ll still be here, but will be focusing on another project within the company. However, it’s with great pleasure that I announce Ion Hazzikostas will be taking my place as Game Director for World of Warcraft.
I know that WoW will be in great hands with Ion at the helm. He’s been an integral part of the team for more than eight years and has contributed to so many aspects of the game’s development—from class design to encounter design and nearly everything in between. He also has an amazing team at his side—the same epic crew that brought you all the content you’re enjoying in Legion.
As a member of the WoW team, I can assure you that the future for World of Warcraft continues to be bright—and as a player, I’m excited to discover what’s in store next alongside all of you. World of Warcraft is the product of the passion of both the team and all of its players, so I’d also like to thank each of you for the wonderful journey that working on the WoW development team has been.
Thank you, and may you have many more epic adventures!