Jump to content
FORUMS
Staff

New Leadership for Overwatch After Jeff Kaplan Leaves Blizzard

Recommended Posts

96SNZ09DKA0N1618939377919.jpg
 

Jeff Kaplan today announced he's leaving Blizzard after 19 years. Overwatch leadership has been passed on to Aaron Keller, a Blizzard veteran and founding member of the Overwatch team, who is the new Game Director.

Blizzard Logo(Source)

We want to let you know that Jeff Kaplan has decided to leave the company after a long and storied career here, and that Aaron Keller, a Blizzard veteran and founding member of the Overwatch team, will be stepping in as game director.

Aaron has been a critical part of the Overwatch team and a key driver in creating the vision for the game. He helped create Overwatch as an original member of the team, and as an 18-year veteran at Blizzard, he has worked side-by-side with Jeff for a long time, not only in building Overwatch but previously in helping to build WoW as well. A few words from Aaron: 

Greetings, Overwatch Community,  

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. 

-Aaron 

We’re also tremendously grateful for Jeff’s contributions over the years. Please see a personal note from Jeff below:

i am leaving Blizzard Entertainment after 19 amazing years. 

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.  

never accept the world as it appears to be. always dare to see it for what it could be. i hope you do the same. 

gg,

jeffrey kaplan 

You’ll hear more from Aaron and the rest of the Overwatch team soon. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Jeff, and in welcoming Aaron into his new role. 

  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, ya hate to see it.  But I hope he either gets a wonderful retirement, or has promising adventures in the future.  He was one of the great ones with a passion for the community.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It certainly doesn't leave a good impression, regardless of how actual development of Overwatch 2 is going, when game's director leaves during said development. Delays and continuous silence are definitely worrying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeez, the exodus continues..............

Shame Ion seems set on staying.............. Almost like he knows he wouldn't get a gig elsewhere!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Arcling said:

It certainly doesn't leave a good impression, regardless of how actual development of Overwatch 2 is going, when game's director leaves during said development. Delays and continuous silence are definitely worrying.

Considering how communicative OW's team has been, OW2's just feels rather off. I'm sure it's fine, but still. It's weird. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Halock said:

Considering how communicative OW's team has been, OW2's just feels rather off. I'm sure it's fine, but still. It's weird. 

I wonder if last years of content drought are worth it. Jeff's note is very curt, written without capitals, as if it was done in a hurry. It does look like something might have happened, like he was angry or just couldn't say more. Usually there is longer farewell message in these cases. Very generic "thank you for all your support" after all these years doesn't look right.

Edited by Arcling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Arcling said:

I wonder if last years of content drought are worth it. Jeff's note is very curt, written without capitals, as if it was done in a hurry. It does look like something might have happened, like he was angry or just couldn't say more. Usually there is longer farewell message in these cases. Very generic "thank you for all your support" after all these years doesn't look right.

I see the lack of capitals as indication of ill will being tossed around a lot, but I don't really buy it. He seemed like a sensible guy who liked what he did. Even if exceptionally angry about something I can't see him being so unprofessional as to burn bridges.

And their messages are always generic, I find. What can you say? The closer you spell out the truth of your feelings the more it seems like piling it on.

It reads to me like what the dude's communications always read like: saying the right thing while carefully winking at you that he's not taking it seriously either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Halock said:

I see the lack of capitals as indication of ill will being tossed around a lot, but I don't really buy it. He seemed like a sensible guy who liked what he did. Even if exceptionally angry about something I can't see him being so unprofessional as to burn bridges.

Usually they would mention someone specific in their farewells. Something like: "I would like to thank x and y person, I'm leaving the game to a new director who's a great guy etc.". Especially the latter to ensure that everything is ok. Yet there is nothing here, it's very vague. Oddly short farewell to something he clearly loved so much. Perhaps we will eventually know more, but it might not be any time soon, if his contract forbids him from working for competition (could be 6 months, or even a year or so).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

personally glad to see him gone.  Might not have been all his ideas, but I hate the direction Overwatch took as it aged under him.  It went from being a really fun  unique shooter (letting multiple people play the same character, no role checks, etc) into being just another copy of all the other shooters with the goal seeming to care more about e-sport relevance than actually being fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly IMO Overwatch 2 has been a super sketchy concept from the beginning.    Tried it at Blizzcon, and it's basically Overwatch 1 with a (not noticable unless you look hard) new paintjob and a PVE campaign.    Said campaign is exactly like the ones in Starcraft/Warcraft RTS, where you progress through pre-set paths, get some powerups at set points and introduce characters and whatnot.    

Other than that, it's exactly like Overwatch 1 and iirc they've said you'll be able to play against each other with either game and both will get the same new characters.     IE it's the same engine under the new paintjob.

It feels like this could have EASILY been a small dlc/expansion...but they wanted a Overwatch 2 per the bean counters, which probably is going to sell at a higher price than either more realistic option.    Jeff seemed to allude to that at the last Blizzcon where he said something to the effect of "I know there's a lot of questions and we need to provide some answers, and they'll be coming" as he talked about the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually i would say well its not so unusual for a job change especially in his position even the time doesn't seem odd to me i mean we re still in a pandemic and that kinda changes the perspective of where do you see yourself in a few years

so like metzen maybe wanna spend more time with the family or do something entirely different is not that unrealistic

but the note he left was kinda cold so i guess its not so unrealistic that he left for the reason of disagreement

but what ever his reasons where well all we can do is wish him well and hope for the best
for him and OW2

but to all doomsayers blizzard won't disappear blizzard is still a major player so pls stop it if you dont like blizz anymore move on
but dont spread those doomsayer posts i mean especially wow is declared dead since how many years? and it still provides a huge part of blizzards income so

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First David Kim, now Jeff Kaplan. Blizzard keeps losing their most valuable members year after year. This is never a good sign. Activision is slowly killing Blizzard since the merge and sucking its soul; it is becoming another EA.

I hope both Kim and Kaplan find better places. They're talented and devoted to the craft, and deserve better.

Edited by Valhalen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Valhalen said:

First David Kim, now Jeff Kaplan. Blizzard keeps losing their most valuable members year after year. This is never a good sign. Activision is slowly killing Blizzard since the merge and sucking its soul; it is becoming another EA.

I hope both Kim and Kaplan find better places. They're talented and devoted to the craft, and deserve better.

Just a theory, but what if they didn't "loose him", but deliberately got rid of him? Don't get me wrong, I love Jeff and everyone knows he's a fan favourite, but as WC3:Reforged illustrated these old Blizzard-veterans are not always best-suited for the 21st century video game industry and what they've shown us from OW2 at Blizzcon is hardly spectacular. In other words: the game is in a huge delay and with all the stuff they promised they may have been setting up a chain of catastrophic events similar to that of the Cyberpunk launch story. If I were a major shareholder those would be things heavily weighing against Tigole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Badadada said:

Just a theory, but what if they didn't "loose him", but deliberately got rid of him? Don't get me wrong, I love Jeff and everyone knows he's a fan favourite, but as WC3:Reforged illustrated these old Blizzard-veterans are not always best-suited for the 21st century video game industry and what they've shown us from OW2 at Blizzcon is hardly spectacular. In other words: the game is in a huge delay and with all the stuff they promised they may have been setting up a chain of catastrophic events similar to that of the Cyberpunk launch story. If I were a major shareholder those would be things heavily weighing against Tigole.

It is an interesting theory, but I wonder if that is the case. WC3 Reforged was just Blizzard as a whole failing to deliver a proper remaster. Old veterans of Blizzard gave us the StarCraft remaster and it worked like a charm. I don't think it has anything with the products itself, but with Activision slowly killing creative direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/22/2021 at 4:41 AM, Badadada said:

Just a theory, but what if they didn't "loose him", but deliberately got rid of him? Don't get me wrong, I love Jeff and everyone knows he's a fan favourite, but as WC3:Reforged illustrated these old Blizzard-veterans are not always best-suited for the 21st century video game industry and what they've shown us from OW2 at Blizzcon is hardly spectacular. In other words: the game is in a huge delay and with all the stuff they promised they may have been setting up a chain of catastrophic events similar to that of the Cyberpunk launch story. If I were a major shareholder those would be things heavily weighing against Tigole.

He's also been at it a long time, to where if he's not innovating anymore, he should just take an executive position and enjoy fans at Blizzcon every year. He's come a long way since being Tigole Bitties in UO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Microsoft posted a blog post sharing their view on the Activision Blizzard acquisition. They also revealed that Overwatch, Diablo, Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Starcraft, are coming to the Game Pass.
      The largest and fastest-growing gaming segment is mobile platforms. Microsoft is expanding choice in two ways: through the creation of Game Pass, which gives players a subscription option and by bringing more games to mobile platforms.
      Developing mobile games requires new capabilities and the expertise that the teams at Activision Blizzard bring in developing mobile games will help Microsoft understand how to create games that engage players around the world.
      The most important portion confirms that multiple Activision Blizzard titles will become part of the Game Pass, Diablo 4 potentially on Day 1.
      "We intend to make Activision Blizzard’s much-loved library of games – including Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty – available in Game Pass and to grow those gaming communities. By delivering even more value to players, we hope to continue growing Game Pass, extending its appeal to mobile phones and any connected device."
      Phil Spencer 
      CEO of Microsoft Gaming
      Even though World of Warcraft wasn't specifically mentioned by Phil Spencer in the blog post, it's shown in the header image. At this time, we do not know if WoW will be included in the Game Pass.

      Source: Reddit + Microsoft
    • By Stan
      An unconfirmed internal spreadsheet with release dates of multiple Activision Blizzard titles including Dragonflight and Diablo 4 pre-purchase took Reddit by storm today.
      The spreadsheet snippet accurately revealed the launch date of the Wrath of the Lich King Classic pre-patch hours before it was announced today by Blizzard.
      It mentions Dragonflight pre-patch launching on October 25, 2022, with the expansion going live on November 28, 2022. 
      The internal spreadsheet also mentions Overwatch 2 PvP Launch on October 4, 2022, and Diablo 4 pre-purchase and game rewards going live on December 8, 2022.

      Scaleface, a reputable leaker from MMO-C who accurately predicted Legion and leaked Dragonflight along with Warcraft Rumble also said Dragonflight would release in November 2022. If the leaks prove to be true, we're looking at a scenario similar to that of Shadowlands. The expansion launched on November 23, 2020.
    • By Staff
      Blizzard will debut new merchandise at San Diego Comic-Con. For those attending the event in person, make sure to check out Booth #140. The products will also be available for purchase on the Blizzard Gear Store later this year.
       
      To kick things off, music superstar and mega-fan Steve Aoki is helping celebrate Blizzard at Comic-Con with a special giveaway on Twitter! Fans will not only have a chance to win tons of Comic-Con merch, but Aoki’s own apparel signed by the man himself!
      For those attending this year’s convention on site, Blizzard will have access to a variety of exclusive products representing their popular franchises. Products making their debut at San Diego Comic-Con will include the Blizzard Exclusive Diablo II: Resurrected Deluxe Vinyl Box Set (by iam8bit), Overwatch Pepe Revendreth Plush, World of Warcraft® Classic & Burning Crusade Playing Cards, Blizzard Series 5 Badges, and much more.
      Here's the list of new products:
      DIABLO
      Blizzard Exclusive Diablo II: Resurrected Deluxe Vinyl Box Set (by iam8bit) Soulstone Power Bank Java Sok Diablo IV Necromancer Tee Art Print - Title: Lilith, Daughter of Hatred - Artist: Victor Lee OVERWATCH
      Overwatch: New Blood Comic Cover Collection Art Junker Queen Art Print - Title: The Reckoning - Artist: Nesskain Java Sok Sojourn Tee WORLD OF WARCRAFT
      WoW Classic Playing Cards WoW Burning Crusade Playing Cards Alliance and Horde Chrome Domz Alexstrasza Tee Art Print - Title: Sindragosa and Arthas - Artist: Bernie Kang Pepe Revendreth Plush OTHER FRANCHISES
      Blizzard Series 5 Badges Blizzard Forging Worlds Art Hearthstone Art, Java Sok StarCraft Art, Java Sok Heroes of the Storm Java Sok Fans are invited to come visit the Blizzard Entertainment booth (#140) for the above products. In addition, many of the above products will become available on the Blizzard Gear Store later this year!


    • By Staff
      Blizzard Entertainment has acquired Spellbreak Development Studio Proletariat to beef up the staff on World of Warcraft. Its team of 100 people will start working on WoW, including the Dragonflight expansion coming later this year, according to Venture Beat.
      President of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Ybarra said in a statement that "Proletariat were a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard's mission in bringing high-quality content to the players more often."
      "We are putting players at the forefront of everything we do, and we are working hard to both meet and exceed their expectations."
      "A big part of caring for our teams is making sure we have the resources to produce experiences our communities will love while giving our teams space to explore even more creative opportunities within their projects. Proletariat is a perfect fit for supporting Blizzard’s mission in bringing high-quality content to our players more often.”
      Mike Ybarra
      President of Blizzard Entertainment
      World of Warcraft General Manager John Hight commented that they "need to increase the frequency at which they deliver WoW updates" and that "Proletariat were an easy decision, as they have a large remote work force."
      “As you probably are aware, folks in World of Warcraft have a voracious appetite for content and what we’ve seen over the last year is that we need to increase the amount of content that we can create, and the frequency with which we’re putting it in the hands of our players.”
      “That’s one of the things that made this decision easy for us to start working with Proletariat, as they have a large remote work force".
      John Hight
      General Manager of World of Warcraft
      In response to the acqusition, the Spellbreak Development team posted an update on the future of their battle-royale game Spellbreak,
      Spellbreak's development will end and servers will go offline in early 2023, as Proletariat will be fully integrated into Blizzard Entertainment in the coming months.
      Breakers,
      After more than four years of elemental magic and spell combinations, we’ve made the decision to end development of Spellbreak. The servers will be shut down as of early 2023. Thank you to the millions of players who have joined us in the Hollow Lands since 2018; it’s been an amazing journey.
      Our vision was to create a fresh, multiplayer action-spellcasting game with exceptional movement and class customization that would give players the chance to unleash their inner battlemage. We are grateful to everyone in the game’s community for exploring the magical worlds and experiences we created together. Spellbreak was an ambitious project that saw our team push new boundaries in design and development and we are excited to continue to innovate as we create new titles in the future.
      To all Spellbreak fans around the world, thank you for the support and dedication that made the game and community so special.
      Sincerely, 
      Spellbreak Development Team
      Blizzard Entertainment hasn't yet provided a statement on the acquisition.
      Source: Venture Beat
    • By Stan
      In this post, we're looking at how to find out you've been invited to a Beta!
      Step 1
      Make sure to opt-in for Beta for a chance to get invited.
      Dragonflight Beta Wrath Classic Beta Diablo 4 Beta (The D4 Beta says "sign up for updates" instead of "opt in for beta" which may sound confusing; thanks to @TyZone for mentioning). Overwatch 2 PvP Beta Step 2
      Now that you've opted in for Beta, how do you find out you've been invited to the testing? There are two options available.
      Option 1
      Launch the Battle.net app. Visit the appropriate game tab, open the "Game Version" dropdown and check if there are any new "In Development" versions available to you.
      In our specific scenario, we can see "Wrath of the Lich King Classic Beta" is available for download and play, which means we've been invited to the testing.

      Option 2
      Check your Battle.net email. Mails are often delayed and do not arrive at the same time when you are invited to Beta, which is why we recommend Option 1. The mail will arrive from a verified Blizzard mail address, so make sure to verify the mail address ends in "@blizzard.com" to avoid scams.

      Please note that Blizzard will never ask for your password and no keys are being given away at this time that grant Beta access. Invites are currently bound to Battle.net accounts! Don't fall for anyone selling Beta keys!
×
×
  • Create New...