Blizzard veteran Jeff Kaplan has announced his departure from the company. Kaplan is most well-known for directing Overwatch, as well as serving as a public spokesperson for the game and Blizzard itself.
Kaplan has been a fixture at Blizzard since he was hired in 2002. He served as a game director on World of Warcraft before stepping aside to work on Blizzard’s first-person shooter project Titan. The game was eventually canceled and turned into Overwatch, which Kaplan has served as director and lead designer ever since.
Kaplan hasn’t cited a specific reason for his departure. He provided a statement on the Overwatch blog confirming the move, but details on why he decided to leave are unspecified.
“I am leaving Blizzard Entertainment after 19 amazing years,” Kaplan writes. “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.”
Kaplan was currently leading development on Overwatch 2. He appeared at this year’s digital Blizzcon show to share new details on the upcoming game.
Blizzard veteran Aaron Keller will replace Kaplan as game director on Overwatch and its sequel. Keller was a founding member of the project and has been a Blizzard employee for 18 years. In a statement to the Overwatch community, Keller assured fans that Overwatch 2 development is “continuing at a good pace.”
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