Blizzard is doubling down on diversity and inclusion when it comes to its own hiring practices.
That’s according to a leaked internal memo from Blizzard President Mike Morhaime, which Kotaku excerpted in a report last night. Morhaime is apparently spearheading a “global diversity and inclusion initiative” intended to spur on the hiring of underrepresented people inside the company — specifically women, who make up only a fifth of employees, and other minority groups, who make up only 14%.
While Blizzard will not operate under strict hiring quotas, employees are being encouraged to seek out and recommend women and minorities who are traditionally overlooked in the male-dominated video games industry. Networking sessions, mentoring groups, diversity training, and gender summits are also on order, along with fostering a women-centered advisory council akin to the LGBTQ council that already exists.
Chris Metzen announced this evening that he is leaving Blizzard and “retiring” — and he says he means it.
Formally Blizzard’s Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development, Metzen has been one of core creative minds behind both the Warcraft and Diablo universes, known best to MMORPG players for his role in steering World of Warcraft’s plotlines, not to mention his voicing of several key characters.
“The reason I use the word ‘retire’ is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest,” he told players tonight. “I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my family. They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration. In addition to raising our two little ones, we recently welcomed our new baby into the family! Being home with them all, having time and space to really live… to love my wife with all my strength… that’s my career now.”
Blizz has not yet issued a statement. Given Legion’s strong launch performance, we reckon Metzen fancied going out on top.