Tom Chilton Switching Projects, Ion Hazzikostas now Game Director
Kalgan is leaving World of Warcraft as Game Director and moving on to another project with Blizzard. Ion Hazzikostas is stepping up as game director!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
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!
This article was originally published in forum thread: Tom Chilton Switching Projects, Ion Hazzikostas now Game Director started by chaud View original post
Comments 228 Comments
  1. Zenotetsuken's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by apepi View Post
    I like Ion better than Tom anyways.

    Tom always said something and it would end up not being true.
    I disagree, but for the exact same reasons.
    Tom would from time to time say something that turned out not to happen, or oversell/downplay certain things. However, Ion is like someone with a severe mental disability; Sure, it is possible for him to function, but everything he touches still gets covered in poop.
  1. xhisors's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Snackwiches View Post
    Class balance an absolute shitshow for years, despite non-stop homogenization, gear simplification and ability pruning? Better promote that guy.



    I still don't understand how Holinka got the job to begin with, considering his past design experience was full of shovelware. Now after his miserable performance at Blizzard along with his inability to engage the community or at least not act like an ass whenever he does get the spotlight for a few seconds... Gotta be some kind of nepotism going on with him.

    I'd rather Blizzard just do outside hires than promote some of their lackluster legacy staff, when the recent legacy has been pretty depressing.
    I'm inclined to agree that he knows someone, which is usually the case these days with all companies. Its who you know not what you know in just about every line of work. I think the WoW community collectively agree that he shouldn't be in the position hes in(not sure people even want him involved with wow at this point). I would be interested seeing a poll of who the community has wanted gone over the past few years.... and by how much Holinka would win that poll over everyone else. lol
  1. Sturmbringe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xhisors View Post
    I'm inclined to agree that he knows someone, which is usually the case these days with all companies. Its who you know not what you know in just about every line of work. I think the WoW community collectively agree that he shouldn't be in the position hes in(not sure people even want him involved with wow at this point). I would be interested seeing a poll of who the community has wanted gone over the past few years.... and by how much Holinka would win that poll over everyone else. lol
    WoW is not a Democracy [Credit: Greg Street]

    If it was left up to you and yours to vote for a Game Designer, you'd vote in a Kung Fu Panda who's into k3teenz and rides Pon33z (after My Little Pony) anyway.
  1. musicallittle1's Avatar
    New Diablo game incoming! Maybe even finally an MMO.... who knows???? But I do think he is working on Diablo now, we shall see.
  1. ent0mbed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bumbac View Post
    2 more expansions and wow is over. Everything is pointing that way.
    Ah yes, the quote from WotLK, Cata, MoP, WoD and now Legion. Keep saying it and (assuming you're around longer than WoW) you'll eventually be right. Good luck with it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Partysaurus Rex View Post
    I am not sure I am ready for another mmo. I honestly might consider sitting out.
    Kind of cute... I bet you almost even have yourself convinced. You can sit out with all of those people who say they're fed up and unsub'ing (month after month after month).
  1. mmoc2469da80bf's Avatar
    Ret's all over are going to have a party !! Da Kalgan is gone !!!!!!Lets hope FOREVER!!!!
  1. Barnabas's Avatar
    So they put him as boss for Warcraft 4?
  1. Wildmoon's Avatar
    I feel good about this and I wish Tom do his best with the new project. Ion is one of the best devs at Blizzard. He is smart, honest and one of the few devs who play at very high level.
  1. Tya's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
    So they put him as boss for Warcraft 4?
    Blizzard gonna compete against themselves in the RTS market, where they're the only competitor? Not likely.
  1. Cæli's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bonewax View Post
    ohh the fanboy is strong in this one.

    wow wont be around if each expansion they lose 7m subs.
    well who cares wow is on the internet now there will always be servers
  1. mmoc925aeb179c's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
    So they put him as boss for Warcraft 4?
    Warcraft 4 is never going to happen. RTS market is pretty much dead.

    Not to mention no company is going to release an RTS game nearly 1.5 decades after the last one.
  1. Maxrokur's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yvaelle View Post
    This confirms something my guild has been talking about this whole expansion - that this may be the last major WoW expansion:

    SPOILERS BELOW


    - players are more powerful than ever, we're all the leaders of our respective classes now, wielding the most powerful artifact weapons in the history of Azeroth

    - it's the Legion, Sargeras has been the big looming bad guy for the entire game, and now he's here: virtually any follow-up expansion will pale by comparison, and the only possible exception would be The Dark Below (an Azjatar / N'zoth / Lovecraft expansion), but given that we're now in the Broken Isles - this is likely also going to be the N'zoth conclusion

    - The Illidan arc will come to a close, and this expansion has been building him up immensely as some sort of Chosen One

    - We're killing off gods left and right lately: Ysera dies in a zone intro quest, we kill Ursoc, Cenarius is corrupted/on death's door. Meanwhile the Shadowpriests are feeding all of Azeroth's old gods to a very hungry dagger-old-god. All the Naaru are dying. Azeroth is apparently some kind of titan. Elune (the only actual god in WoW lore) is now taking an active role in the affairs of mortals, something she's pretty much kept out of for 10,000 years since the last Legion invasion. The DKs are literally preparing for the end of all life. The DH's keep yammering on about the virtue of sacrificing everything.

    - The Illidan history quests demonstrate that the key turning point in his life was when he recognized he would need to sacrifice his own soldiers to save the world, and that any amount of sacrifice was permissible if it resulted in him ultimately winning against the Legion - that seems like pretty obvious foreshadowing that in order to defeat Sargeras, Illidan is going to sacrifice our Raid Group (who are now all the most powerful heros in Azeroth) to empower himself to get on Sargeras' level


    Meanwhile in RL:

    - Ghostcrawler left WoW because of creative differences after Pandaland and prior to Draenor, and Draenor was obviously a stop-gap expansion hastily created when Project Titan fell through - he wanted to do something bigger/better, not oversee the shittiest expansion and wait around for years

    - Project Titan was clearly something much, much bigger - and then got completely scrapped and became Overwatch with a team a fraction the size of the original (it was clearly a new MMO originally)

    - Kalgan was originally leading Titan before it got scrapped (when I suspect it was an MMO), and now he's leaving to run another new project (return of the next Blizzard MMO)

    - Ion's taking over WoW, because he's one of the only devs whose heart is still in WoW (I like Ion, I think this is a good move overall)

    So to sum it all up:
    - Legion final expansion
    - New Blizzard MMO coming
    - Ion might actually give a shit to fix stuff before 8.0 (because there may not be an 8.1)
    This is a joke right?
  1. ExtremelyCrusty's Avatar
    Tom Chilton looks like a pedophile.
  1. stomination's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bumbac View Post
    2 more expansions and wow is over. Everything is pointing that way.
    Game has lived for so long that if it dies it would just be normal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bonewax View Post
    ohh the fanboy is strong in this one.

    wow wont be around if each expansion they lose 7m subs.
    They would have been at negative numbers if that was true.
  1. teddabear's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by hablix View Post
    I have a feeling this is going to be a good thing.
    Best news for WoW since pretty much ever.
  1. Spotnick's Avatar
    When you think about it.. the GM of Elitist Jerks is now in charge of WOW lol.

    They have been telling us how to play this game since launch.
  1. Nihilist74's Avatar
    Is it possible they are putting Chilton in charge of something for Diablo?
  1. Vargur's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by innerpartycolt View Post
    It is time for old timers to step down from WOW. This game needs fresh blood.
    On top of a new graphical engine.
  1. apepi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zenotetsuken View Post
    I disagree, but for the exact same reasons.
    Tom would from time to time say something that turned out not to happen, or oversell/downplay certain things. However, Ion is like someone with a severe mental disability; Sure, it is possible for him to function, but everything he touches still gets covered in poop.
    Honestly I have not played WoW since MoP, so that is where I am getting my info from. But from what I heard, WoW is already shitty to began with, more shit couldn't hurt.
  1. Dispirit's Avatar
    WoW 2 CONFIRMED. Makes the most since to me.

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