Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan to depart Blizzard after 19 years

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan to depart Blizzard after 19 years
Ben Borthwick Updated on by

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Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has announced that he will be departing Blizzard Entertainment after almost two decades with the company.

A post on the Overwatch website confirmed the news, with Kaplan saying "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."

Stepping into Kaplan's shoes overseeing Overwatch and its forthcoming sequel going forward will be Aaron Keller, himself a Blizzard veteran and described as a founding member of the Overwatch team. His own statement on Jeff's departure said "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."

On the subject of taking over the game director position for Overwatch 2, Keller added: "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."

Work on Overwatch 2, meanwhile, continues apace with Keller saying "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."