World of Warcraft‘s game director Tom Chilton is stepping down from the world’s most successful MMO to work on a new project, so says a statement published on Battle.net by the man himself yesterday.
Addressing fans directly, Chilton discusses how he began his career at Blizzard as a senior game designer for the game he would later become the director of, having been a designer for another MMO – Ultima Online – before that. “It’s with a mix of excitement, sadness, and gratitude that I’m saying farewell to the WoW team,” says Chilton, although he likely won’t have to go far for his new job – he’s staying on at Blizzard to work on a mystery new project.
Predictably, Chilton makes absolutely no mention of what this new project is or whether it’s even a game, but that doesn’t stop us from hazarding a guess. There’s every chance that Chilton is working on a brand new IP, but could it be that he’s now at the helm of Blizzard’s Diablo series? Various members of the Diablo III team departed earlier this year, and with the top-down RPG now getting on a bit, a Diablo IV isn’t outside the realms of possibility.
As for World of Warcraft, directorial duties have been given to Ion Hazzikostas who, Chilton says has been “an integral part of the team for more than eight years and has contributed to so many aspects of the game’s development.”
World of Warcraft‘s latest expansion – Legion – launched in August to positive reviews.