Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan has left his position as Overwatch 2 game director
Overwatch 2 will be overseen by Aaron Keller moving forward.
Blizzard has just announced that Jeff Kaplan, one of the key drivers in the Overwatch development team, has stepped away from the company after near 20 years with the company.
He shared a short note in a released shared by Blizzard:
(I) am leaving Blizzard Entertainment after 19 amazing years.
(I)t was truly the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to create worlds and heroes for such a passionate audience. (I) want to express my deep appreciation to everyone at blizzard who supported our games, our game teams and our players. (B)ut i want to say a special thanks to the wonderful game developers that shared in the journey of creation with me.
(N)ever accept the world as it appears to be. [A]lways dare to see it for what it could be. (I) hope you do the same.
His replacement, Aaron Keller, is one of Blizzard's vetreren minds at the company and also one of the founding team member for the Overwatch shooter. He has worked, alongside Jeffrey, for over 18 years, and has worked in both Overwatch and also World of Warcraft. He will be the new game director for Overwatch 2.
Jeff’s been a great leader, mentor, and friend, and he knows how much we’re going to miss him. I’ve been lucky to work alongside him and the rest of the Overwatch team for many years in building something that continues to inspire people all around the world, and I’m honored to carry the torch forward.
I love Overwatch. From our first pieces of concept art, to the first maps we built, to the first time I was able to run around as Tracer (who at that early point shot laser beams out of her eyes), this game has just clicked with me. I love its inspiring, hopeful, beautiful world worth fighting for. I love its characters—larger than life, colorful, powerful, and global. And most of all, I love the fast, fluid gameplay requiring teamwork, situational awareness, and quick decision making.
I also recognize that making games at Blizzard has always been a group effort and never about just one point of view. Together with the rest of the team I feel fortunate that we have a deep bench of development and creative leaders, numerous veteran Blizzard artists and designers, and some extremely talented new blood as well—along with tons of support throughout the company for the live game and for Overwatch 2.
Speaking of Overwatch 2, development is continuing at a good pace. We have an exceptional vision we’re executing on, the reaction from many of you to the updates we shared at BlizzConline thrilled us, and we have exciting reveals planned for this year and beyond as we ramp to launch. We’ll be sharing more frequent updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game with you all very soon.
While I have no pretenses about filling Jeff’s shoes, I’m excited to step into the game director role and continue to be part of a team that’s putting all of its heart, talent, and focus into the next iteration of Overwatch, and I’m honored to continue serving this incredible community.
Jeffrey did not share where he is going moving forward from Blizzard. We wish him all the best of luck and safe journey ahead!