Jeff Kaplan, the game director for Overwatch and Overwatch 2, has announced his departure from Blizzard after 18 years with the company.
Aaron Keller, the associate game director for Overwatch 2, will take over as director. They’ve collaborated for a long time, dating back to their World of Warcraft days.
In a letter posted today, Kaplan said “it 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. But I want to say a special thanks to the wonderful game developers that shared in the journey of creation with me.” It’s unclear where Kaplan will go next, but he spent 19 years at Blizzard.
What this means for Overwatch is still unknown. The game is in an odd position right now, with a sequel in development that won’t be released until after this year. Aaron Keller, an 18-year Blizzard veteran and a founding member of the Overwatch team, will take over Kaplan’s place.
In a statement, he wrote: “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.”
He went on to say that Overwatch 2 is “developing at a good rate” and that “we’ll be sharing more regular updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game with you all very soon.”