LA-based entertainment journalist & 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast host.
In a shocking announcement this week, Blizzard Entertainment revealed that Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan is departing the company. Aaron Keller, a founding member of the Overwatch development team will be stepping up to replace Kaplan as game director for the franchise.
Kaplan has been a part of Blizzard Entertainment for 19 years, where he has also worked on the World of Warcraft franchise. He shared the following letter along with the announcement:
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.
Overwatch had its official launch in May 2016. It soon became one of the most popular online multiplayer games on the planet. Overwatch 2 was announced in November 2019 during his tenure as director.
Now, Overwatch 2 will have its release without Kaplan overseeing its completion at Blizzard Entertainment. How Kaplan's current absence will affect the outcome of Overwatch 2 remains to be seen.
Also, in November 2019, Kaplan was one of the major employees at Blizzard who spoke out against the controversial suspension for Hearthstone player Ng Wai Chung, who spoke out in favor of Hong Kong demonstrators. Kaplan publicly went on record with The Washington Post saying he believed that Chung's suspension should've been "reduced more or eliminated."
His comments came at a time when there was heavy fire, criticism, and scrutiny on Blizzard and its executives for their handling of the situation, while many were publicly silent on the issue.
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