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The Real Reason This WoW Dev Left Blizzard After 13 Years

World of Warcraft developer and Blizzard employee Chris Kaleiki announced that he has quit after a long career with the company. On Nov. 18, Kaleiki uploaded a video on YouTube where he explained what led to his decision.


The game developer opened by stating that he had no ill will toward Blizzard, and praised the studio for their talented team. Kaleiki went on to say that he himself was a big WoW fan before he began working on the game.

During his 13 years with Blizzard, Kaleiki's work was focused on PvP and class design, and his main goal was to create specs for various classes in WoW. "I felt it was sort of a duty to the player to really make all these specs and classes viable, and in as many aspects of the game as possible," Kaleiki explained. He went on to credit some of his work, including designing the Monk class from Mists of Pandaria, the PvP system, and his contributions to the upcoming Shadowlands.

So after giving so much to the world of WoW, what made him decide to leave? "It's complicated, right?" Kaleiki sympathetically stated. He went on to explain that the main reason was that he was "unhappy with the state of the game." The original values of World of Warcraft had, in his opinion, been lost in the more modern versions. He goes on to list what he calls the "pillars" of the classic WoW game: "The world is the main character, the player is the story, the community is the content." Kaleiki said that he believed that while these concepts are still present in the games, it is to a far lesser extent.


One subject that Kaleiki touched on was the lack of a need for guilds in newer versions of World of Warcraft. According to him, being in a guild "creates cohesion" and "community" among players, and while he understands the preference of some WoW fans to play independently, he felt that the franchise has suffered because of this loss. Another issue for Kaleiki is how the main story of WoW has become more prominent, as he believes the story should derive from the players themselves.

For Kaleiki, what it all boils down to is that Blizzard's "vision" has allegedly changed over the years, leaving himself and other members of the WoW team wondering what direction the game is headed toward. As for him, Kaleiki hopes to move forward while continuing to create "virtual worlds" for the enjoyment of gamers, though he has no certain plans pinned down yet.