Blizzard Entertainment’s co-leader Jen Oneal has announced she’s departing three months after her appointment to explore more games and diversity opportunities.
Oneal published a leaving letter to the Blizzard community explaining the decision on the studio’s website. “I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite—I’m inspired by the passion of everyone here, working towards meaningful, lasting change with their whole hearts”.
She added “This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I am not totally sure what form that will take, I am excited to embark on a new journey to find out.”
Effective immediately, Mike Ybarra will now lead Blizzard solo. He and Jen Oneal were both placed in charge of the company back in August, following the departure of J. Allen Brack. The latter’s departure came in the midst of the ongoing lawsuit against the company accusing Activision Blizzard of fostering a toxic workplace.
Jen Oneal says she and Ybarra have been working to try and make Blizzard a “safer, stronger, and more inclusive workplace”. She added that Ybarra will share with fans some of the steps the company intends to take soon. “I wanted to tell the Blizzard community this personally because I want you to know I believe so strongly in Mike and the rest of Blizzard’s leadership both in terms of Blizzard’s culture and Blizzard’s games. Blizzard’s best days are ahead. I truly believe that.”
It’s been an eventful evening for Blizzard, as the company also announced last night that it would be delaying the release of both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4.
Jen Oneal on her next steps and our further investment into women in gaming: https://t.co/UdEJud17oM
— Blizzard Entertainment (@Blizzard_Ent) November 2, 2021