Last Friday, Blizzard’s Senior Art Director, Samwise Didier, announced his departure from the company after nearly 32 years of service. Inevitably, speculations about the true reasons behind his retirement surfaced. And so, Sam took the initiative to dispel the mystery by sharing a 10-minute video explaining the motivations behind his decision.
For those have yet the time to watch the full video, we’ve summarized all of the highlights for your convenience:
- Didier began working at Blizzard at the age of 21 and spent almost 32 years there. This was his first and only full-time job throughout his life. He also created illustrations for himself, friends’ D&D campaigns, and other purposes. However, it was not a professional occupation.
- Sam received numerous messages from various people regarding his departure. The majority reacted positively to his decision, which pleased and touched him deeply.
- There’s no drama or negativity associated with his departure. It’s not related to Microsoft, Activision, or Blizzard. In reality, it’s connected to his father, who passed away several years ago at 78 years old. At that time, Sam had a thought: if he were also meant to live until 78, there wasn’t that much time left. He pondered what he truly wanted to do. He could continue working on universes he had been involved with for decades. Or, he could dedicate himself to something new, something personally meaningful. Ultimately, he decided that he had worked enough on Blizzard’s worlds and now wanted to devote himself to the latter.
- Sam isn’t fearful that life has passed him by or that he’s on the brink of death. He has a positive understanding that he made a significant contribution to other worlds and can now dedicate himself to his own. And so, he can leave it as a legacy for his children to build upon. There’s no negative undertone to this decision.
- At one point, Didier was offered the opportunity to create concept illustrations for the “Warcraft” movie. Yet, he declined, stating that he had already produced hundreds of excellent drawings related to Warcraft that could be used.
- At Blizzard, there’s a program that permits employees to pursue side projects. These projects don’t have to be related to their primary responsibilities and the company’s universes. Many employees take advantage of this opportunity. They engage in the development of diverse applications and games. As for Didier, he channels his creativity into crafting graphic novels, illustrated books, and artbooks. Some of which are already available for purchase. Others are set to be released in the future.
- Didier continues to love Blizzard and its games wholeheartedly.
- Didier was the last member of the Elite Tauren Chieftain group at Blizzard. He believes that with his departure, the band has finally dissolved. However, its legacy lives on in the games, discs, and records.
- He will continue working on Blizzard’s worlds, but most likely indirectly. For instance, creating illustrations for Hearthstone cards, images, prints for the store, and similar items.
- Recently, for the first time since Warcraft III, he drew two illustrations featuring Arthas and the Lich King.
- Sam separately posted on his X/Twitter an illustration from the video, and the two mentioned.