"a little weird these days" creating new stories what with 11m fans.
It's not just the sheer number but the "different skews of humanity," and what works in North America "may not translate all that well" in Asia's fan pool.
"It's hard at this scale, with that many eyes on your product, that many different skews of humanity, kids from all over the world... A story beat that works well in North America may not translate all that well, and I don't mean that facetiously, to China," said Metzen.
"And as a dumbass kid from California, I certainly am not cosmopolitan enough to know what all these paradigms are." Chris Metzen has had hand in Blizzard lore since joining way back in 1994 and he focuses on the studio's script work, but also game design.
In some cases Blizzard yield to the community and bank with them on where something should be going, but Metzen points out that's not always healthy.
"It's hard to not let that sometimes steer you in a way: well, I guess my instinct as an artist is that we go left, but the community sure seems to want this idea to go right. And that's a very strange space to be in," admits the Blizzard boss.
"Sometimes you go right for the community, and sometimes you draw a line in the sand and go, f**k it, we're going left. You just have to hope that people stick with you, even through patches of content that they're not entirely thrilled with."
"The smaller per cent of truly vocal fans on the internet that just rip everything you do to pieces... Sometimes it hurts, and you're left to conclude, like any artist in any medium, boy, I guess they really didn't get it."
Metzen describes World of Warcraft as "a study - clumsy or not - a study of societal breakdown and why do we keep clobbering each other, why does hatred persist generationally?" StarCraft's return offered him a break from WOW's burdens.
"I was excited to get into StarCraft because it is so much more linear, and it is about just a couple of people, and it is something goofy like a love story," admitted Metzen.
Check out thebetween Chris Metzen and Eurogamer. Have you enjoyed the ever expanding World of Warcraft lore, or do you hop and skip over the narrative?
Metzen: "Sometimes you go right" with fans, other times 'go left'
20 October 2011 | By Simon Priest