"Metzen's Betrayal" by Jacob - 05-18-06

So the shit has finally hit the fan down at Blizzard. The announcement of the Draenei as the new Alliance race has caused quite an uproar among World of Warcraft fans. Reactions are ranging from "I'm waiting for someone to shout 'April Fool's!'" to burning Chris Metzen, the Warcraft loremaster and man responsible for this catastrophe, in effigy. After three days of the fans yelling, screaming, and cursing on the World of Warcraft forums Metzen had this to say.

For those of you who don't want to follow the link and read the long block of text, here's the quick version. Metzen admits he screwed up, gives "that just happens sometimes" as an excuse, and says they're not going to do anything about it. The whole thing reeks of bullshit and, not surprisingly, most people are calling him on it. Nobody's sure if it's a case of him being rushed by Blizzard's new slavemaster Vivendi, abject laziness on his part, or a horrible brain fungus, but the verdict is the same nonetheless.

Metzen sold us out.

Every time I see an artist gives up on their work, a little piece of me dies. Because more often than not, it's because they were trying to milk the franchise instead of creating something worthwhile. And this isn't just about people like George Lucas churning out junk because they know people will buy it. This has been happening to a lot of my favorite authors recently. Robert Jordan ruined the Wheel of Time series this way. Elizabeth Haydon rushed through the Rhapsody series and clearly ran out of steam about halfway through. Even Terry Brooks, one of my long time favorites, ended up cranking out a piece of garbage to finish the latest Shannara trilogy on time.

As an author, I can't imagine being greedy enough to sell out my creations to make a quick buck. I would rather leave my stories as bits on a hard drive than put out some half-assed piece of work. Fans deserve better than that, and I place a high value on my self-respect. I look at all these unfinished and poorly-finished stories and all I can think is "I could have done better. They should have done better."

The one problem with the whole situation is, thanks to copyright laws written by businessmen, it's usually corporations holding the rights to produce. Which tends to mean that artists have to bend their creations to their masters' wishes if they want to get their work out to the fans. This doesn't stop people who really care about their work, however. People like Joss Whedon, who fought to bring Serenity to the fans after FOX pulled the plug on Firefly and threatened to sit on the production rights for ten years.

If Metzen had any respect for his work or his fans, he would have quit his job rather than see this mess go live. Blizzard and Vivendi would have choked as all the loyal Warcraft fans followed him out rather than see the stories that they loved get chewed up in the corporate machine.

Instead, Metzen chose to give all those loyal fans the finger.

So here's us, returning the favor.

Diary of a Planeswalker is a fantasy comic created and owned by Anya Talisan and Jacob Matthew,
based in the worlds of Norrath and Azeroth, and copyright their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended.
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