Without prior notice, Overwatch loses its key figure: Jeff Kaplan, Head of the project and visible face of the development team, he leaves Blizzard days after the fifth anniversary of his departure and in the middle of the celebration of a seasonal event.
The announcement has been made by Blizzard itself through the official Overwatch website. For his part, the also veteran of the company Aaron Keller will succeed Kaplan as game director. Quite a responsibility, considering that the project is making its own transition to its announced sequel.
Kaplan has worked hard to become a very recognizable figure for fans of Tracer and company. Beyond laying the foundations for one of the most successful FPS of the decade – recognized as Game of the Year at the 2016 Game Awards– His transparency and sincerity during the development of the game towards the community of players has been exemplary.
Jeff Kaplan, much more than the director of a hit game
Prior to Overwatch, Kaplan became a key figure in the evolution of World of Warcraft. Later, he would pour himself into TITAN, the millionaire MMORPG canceled by Blizzard, managing to assemble much of the work invested in a different project: a hero shooter that it did not take long to penetrate much and well thanks to the charisma of its heroes.
As expected, Kaplan’s farewell to his team and fans of Overwatch is full of words of thanks.
I’m leaving Blizzard Entertainment after 19 incredible 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 all those Blizzard colleagues who supported our games, our gaming teams, and the players. What’s more, I want to dedicate a special thank you to all the exceptional developers with whom I shared this very creative journey.
It is not about accepting the world as it is, but about always daring to see it as it could be. I hope you do the same.
GG, Jeffrey Kaplan
Kaplan is the latest major developer to leave a Blizzard that, in recent years, is running out of its most recognizable faces: in 2018 J. Allen Brack took the Mike Morhaime relay as President of Blizzard and, a year later, Ben Brode was no longer the visible face of Heartstone to create your own study: Second Diner.
All in all, there have been interesting moves by the company: in addition to the very recent integration of Vicarious Visions
The future of Tracer and company passes to Aaron Keller
A key premise in Overwatch it is their constant evolution and their ability to adapt. A constant challenge that Kaplan’s successor must take on: Aaron Keller becomes the director of the game and, by extension, its sequel.
Keller isn’t exactly a newcomer – he started working at Blizzard (and World of Warcraft) a year after the arrival of Kaplan and, as we discussed, he is one of the members of the original Overwatch equipment.
Jeff has been a great leader, mentor and friend, and only he knows how much we will miss him. I have been fortunate to work alongside him and the rest of the Overwatch team for many years to build something that continues to inspire people around the world, and I am honored to carry the torch forward.
I love Overwatch. From our first concept art drawings, to the first maps we built, to that first time I was able to test Tracer (who, at that time, was shooting lasers through his eyes). At that moment, the game clicked with me.
I love her beautiful, inspiring and hopeful world that is worth fighting for. I love his characters: larger than life, colorful, powerful and global. And most of all, I love the fast and fluid game that requires teamwork, situational awareness and quick decision making.
Right now the final week of the event is being celebrated in Overwatch Overwatch 2021 Archives, which started on April 6. A rare chance to grab player icons, graffiti, and skins for Lúcio, Zenyatta, and Mercy, who is debuting a Camo outfit. A celebration of the game’s legacy and lore with rewards and various themed game modes.
Overwatch 2 There is still no date on the horizon, and Kaplan’s departure is likely to have an impact on its development or launch plans.
For now, Blizzard calls us to A near future to talk about the future of the game and we will soon have news: May 16 marks five years since the launch of Overwatch And, that implies the arrival of the traditional anniversary event.