Overwatch Director Announces Departure
Jeff Kaplan is the Blizzard Entertainment vice president and Overwatch director, as well as one of Blizzard’s best-known faces. After working for Blizzard Entertainment for 19 years, Kaplan has announced that he will be departing from the company.
Kaplan has been the lead director on the exceedingly successful team-based first-person shooter, Overwatch, since 2016. Quickly becoming the public face of this wildly popular game, resulting in his being one of the best-known faces at Blizzard Entertainment.
It is unknown at this time why Kaplan has decided to leave the company. But in a short goodbye letter, he wrote to fans of the game he has said that people should “never accept the world as it appears to be.” He goes on to say that you should always “dare to see it for what it could be.”
Kaplan’s History With Blizzard
Kaplan earned a tenured position at Blizzard Entertainment back in 2002, and became a design for World of Warcraft. He moved on from WoW in 2009 to help with the development of the Ill-fated Titan project. Sadly, after a lengthy development period, this was ultimately cancelled. He eventually worked his way up to become the lead director on Overwatch. The latter was released in 2016 to a fantastic reception, and took the first-person shooter market by storm.
Kaplan expresses his gratitude for the time he spent at Blizzard Entertainment, saying in his goodbye letter that it was “truly an honour” to be able to create something for “such a passionate audience”. He continues on by expressing his “deep appreciation to everyone at blizzard.” signing off his letter affectionately with “gg, Jeffrey Kaplan”.
Aaron Keller Is Stepping In
Following the news of Jeff’s departure, Blizzard has announced that Aaron Keller will be stepping into the role of lead director. Aaron was heavily involved in World of Warcraft with Kaplan and has been a part of the development of Overwatch from day one.
Blizzard also posted an introductory letter from Aaron himself, to break the ice with Overwatch fans. In the letter Aaron explains that he has “no pretences about filling Jeff’s shoes”, and instead described his promotion as stepping “into the game director role” and continuing to develop the game alongside a time that is “putting all of its heart, talent, and focus into the next iteration of Overwatch.”
Keller has promised to provide the Overwatch community with “frequent updates” about the progression of Overwatch 2. Additionally, he assures the fans that “new features in the live game” will be released very soon.
What Does This Mean for Overwatch 2?
As is to be expected, a lot of people are seeing this change as a cause to worry about the development of Overwatch 2. But Keller has assured fans of the game that Overwatch 2 will continue to go ahead as planned, and that “development is continuing at a good pace.”
Many fans have responded to the news of Jeff’s departure on Twitter with the expected sad reactions. Though they have also been wishing him luck in the future. With a few fans summing up the sentiment of the crowd perfectly.
“Thank you for everything Jeff,” one fan responded. “Words could never properly reflect my gratitude to you for all the happiness overwatch has given me in the 5 years I’ve played it. I wish you luck with whatever you move onto next, and I’ll be patiently waiting for other games you make.”