Michael Chu, the Lead Writer for Overwatch and Overwatch 2, has announced he has left Blizzard Entertainment.
Speaking on Twitter, and linking to his own blog post, Chu described his time at Blizzard Entertainment over the last 20 years. He praised Overwatch- and video game stories in general- for being able to bring people together, and helped “bridge the gap between miles, cultures, and nations.”
“When I first walked through the doors of Blizzard Entertainment twenty years ago, my only dream was to help make the games I had spent countless hours of my life playing. From the battles between the races of Azeroth in Warcraft to the corruption of humanity as pawns of the Eternal Conflict in Diablo, I was lucky enough to tell stories in these amazing universes and help bring them to life. And I have had the great fortune to get to know and interact with the passionate global community that played our games.
These meetings, travels, and a desire to embrace the diversity of our world made it clear that there were different stories that needed to be told about places and people not traditionally seen in games. As an Asian American, I wanted to experience narratives that represented people like me and to see them depicted as heroes. Overwatch offered an opportunity to bring a more inclusive vision of earth to life: a future worth fighting for. Together, we worked, struggled, and shed tears to champion a universe that featured people from across the world, to bring to life the wondrous sights of earth’s past, present, and future, and to empower the contributions of creators and voices who would better represent the breadth of human experience. I believed that a game could show the power of diversity and that one kiss could change the world, if only a little.
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. Overwatch and its consistently generous and inspiring community have only reinforced that belief. I’ve heard stories of people learning a new language after hearing a line of dialogue, people feeling inspired to take a trip to a new place after “visiting” it in-game, and people meeting teammates across languages and borders to take up the cause of making our world a better place. But most of all: again and again, of people empathizing with a story about someone who is not the same as them.
Now, as I head out through the Blizzard doors for a last time, I have new dreams: to continue to tell these stories and build worlds that unite people through games. To help create an inclusive world where more people will want to share stories that reflect their own experiences. I hope it’s something we can build together.
That’s the future that I believe in.”
Chu began working for Blizzard Entertainment in 2000, working as a Quality Assurance Analyst for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. He would later be an Associate Game Designer for Word of Warcraft.
After a brief stint as a Designer at Obsidian Entertainment in 2004 and 2005 (working on Neverwinter Nights 2, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords) he returned to Blizzard Entertainment.
Until 2014, he acted as a Senior Game Designer on World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Diablo III (along with the Reaper of Souls expansion), and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. He then became the lead writer for Overwatch and the upcoming Overwatch 2.
It is rather curious that Overwatch 2′s Lead Writer has left before the game launched, and even before the announcement of a release date. Even with the sequels greater focus on story (with PvE Story Missions, Hero Missions, and new factions), it is plausible that all of the game’s story elements have been finalized.
Chu has not announced where he will work next at this time.