Legendary Blizzard Art Director Samwise Didier Retires After 32 Years at The Studio

Samwise Didier, the legendary art director who helped define Blizzard's art style and is even credited with coining the name "Warcraft" is retiring after 32 years.

Published: November 10, 2023 5:43 PM /


The Lich King and Arthas from World of Warcraft by Samwise Didier

Samwise Didier, one of the most well-known and beloved creatives at Blizzard Entertainment, has announced his retirement today.

Didier, who worked as a senior art director on several projects and lent his art to many more across basically every Blizzard franchise, was one of the studio's first artists having joined in December 1991, only months after the company's foundation under the name Silicon & Synapse.

Having worked at Blizzard for nearly 32 years, his art style is one of the defining elements behind Blizzard's iconic visuals.

Blizzard art director Samwise Didier
Samwise Didier from a video published by Blizzard in preparation for BlizzCon 2018.

Didier's influence on Blizzard's creative output is much deeper than his iconic art. He was credited by Blizzard cofounder Allen Adham with having coined the name "Warcraft," which originally was the name of Didier's Dungeons & Dragons character.

Below you can read the full message announcing his retirement, published on X (formerly Twitter). 

Hail Blizzard Family and Friends,

Today is a huge day for me and I wanted to share the news with you all. I am retiring from my beloved Blizzard Entertainment, and today will be my last day. Now most kids I know move out of the home when they are 18, (well, maybe not these days). For me, it took me damn near double that! It is inspiring and intimidating all at the same time. 

Blizzard was never just a job for me. I joined the company in 1991 and it immediately became my second home. I found out I had family that I didn't even know I had! I grew up there. I learned almost everything I know about art there. I learned how to use a computer (I only knew Atari 2600 and Nintendo), I learned how to use Photoshop, I learned how to create UI and make thousands of buttons. I learned how to create 3D models of my art, how to texture and animate them, and even make them shoot fireballs or lasers. I got to see my art come to life! Hell, I even joined my first band at Blizzard. And to top it all off, I got to work on some of the greatest games this here ol' world has ever known. Thank you Blizzard, for everything. 

If I were to leave any words of wisdom to the mighty Blizzard Entertainment, it would be this:

Blizzard Family
Always draw big shoulder pads
ABC, my friends 


Blizzard president Mike Ybarra responded among many others, congratulating Didier on his retirement and paying homage to his work. 

Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for Blizzard, Sammy! Your talent helped build Blizzard’s signature art style, and I know many of our artists have learned so much from you over the years. Thanks for what you did for them, and for gamers and artists everywhere. Congrats on your retirement!

In other Blizzard news, BlizzCon happened last weekend and we learned about the first expansion for Diablo 4, on top of more details and imagesa whopping three expansions for World of Warcraft and more about the first, The War Within, Overwatch 2's new hero Mauga and two more who will follow

Feature image credit: Samwise Didier on X (Arthas & Lich King

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