Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan leaves Blizzard after nearly 20 years

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Jeff Kaplan, director of the Overwatch games and a 19-year veteran of Blizzard Entertainment, has announced today he will be leaving the company. Filling his role as director of Overwatch 2 is Aaron Keller, an 18-year veteran at Blizzard who has not only worked under Kaplan as a founding member of the original Overwatch team, but also worked with him on World of Warcraft as well. You can read a statement from Jason Kaplan 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
Over the past year, many veteran Blizzard employees have been leaving the company. Last September, Blizzard co-founder and longtime CEO Mike Morhaime left to found Dreamhaven Studios, which itself employs many more Blizzard alums, including Dustin Browder (Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II), Jason Chayes (Hearthstone), and Chris Sigaty (Warcraft III, StarCraft II). Reportedly, all but one of its 27 employees are former Blizzard workers. Earlier this month, Omar Gonzalez, one of the pioneers behind WoW Classic, also left Blizzard for Dreamhaven. Last October, Dave Kosak left the company. Kosak was the public face of Hearthstone, replacing Ben Brode, who also left to form his own studio in 2018. Also in October, many StarCraft II developers left Blizzard to form Frost Giant Studios, reportedly due to Blizzard's lack of interest in developing real-time strategy games. In November, Chris Kaleiki, a longtime World of Warcraft developer left the company, citing disappointment in the direction WoW was headed.

While it's not yet known what Jeff Kaplan's next job will be, he's got plenty of options to choose from if he wants to work with his former Blizzard colleagues.

:arrow: Source
 

xdarkx

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I think he’s saying that the exodus has to do with unconfirmed reports that Blizzard isn’t developing RTS games anymore, so people leaving for other reasons are not indicative of a larger problem with Blizzard. But I don't personally think that's true. Given all the stuff that's been tanking Blizzard's public image lately, I'm sure it's worse for the people on the inside.
:wtf:

Where are you guys getting these reports from??? I call BS since, like I said in my previous post, Jeff is only involved with only 1 RTS game and that was years ago. How would that have anything to do with him leaving? Also, there are better reasons for those former Blizzard vets to leave the company, such as Activision's mandate for Blizzard to cut cost and create more games.
 

relauby

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:wtf:

Where are you guys getting these reports from??? I call BS since, like I said in my previous post, Jeff is only involved with only 1 RTS game and that was years ago. How would that have anything to do with him leaving? Also, there are better reasons for those former Blizzard vets to leave the company, such as Activision's mandate for Blizzard to cut cost and create more games.

The reports that Blizzard was no longer interested in RTS games came from Jason Schreier, a reporter who's pretty well known for doing investigative reports on the inner workings of big developers and publishers, including Blizzard. After the failure of Warcraft 3 Reforged and the cessation of development on StarCraft II, a bunch of RTS developers from Blizzard left to form their own studio, and Jason Schreier spoke on Twitter about hearing stories of Blizzard's upper brass no longer being interested in RTS games.

I agree with you though that I don't think this has anything to do with Kaplan leaving.
 

xdarkx

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The reports that Blizzard was no longer interested in RTS games came from Jason Schreier, a reporter who's pretty well known for doing investigative reports on the inner workings of big developers and publishers, including Blizzard. After the failure of Warcraft 3 Reforged and the cessation of development on StarCraft II, a bunch of RTS developers from Blizzard left to form their own studio, and Jason Schreier spoke on Twitter about hearing stories of Blizzard's upper brass no longer being interested in RTS games.

I agree with you though that I don't think this has anything to do with Kaplan leaving.
That's funny because he also reported about the Activision's mandate for Blizzard to cut cost and create more games and that was one month prior to the twit in your post. Not to mentioned that the reports you are referring to only affected RTS developers.
 

Axido

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For me, Blizzard has been a constant source of disappointment since Battle for Azeroth flopped and Shadowlands followed suit, so meh.

The only thing I enjoyed from them was World of Warcraft, and they managed to turn it into a pile of trash with the excessive grinding, destroying old raid farming and terrible PvP balance, neutering casual play completely.

Edit: And to top it off, among the worst first WoW patch I've ever played, they had the balls to increase subscription costs worldwide. They deserve all the spite they get, even if we all know Activision is to blame.

I feel you when it comes to subscription costs.
Yet, I don't understand why you think casual play in WoW is that bad. I come from TBC and I tell you, whatever you describe as excessive grind is not as much as it was back then. WoW is as casual as it gets now. Every single addon made it more noob-friendly if you asked me.

Would be cool to know what you think the peak of WoW was, because I can see people complaining about exactly the opposite.
 

AlexMCS

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I feel you when it comes to subscription costs.
Yet, I don't understand why you think casual play in WoW is that bad. I come from TBC and I tell you, whatever you describe as excessive grind is not as much as it was back then. WoW is as casual as it gets now. Every single addon made it more noob-friendly if you asked me.

Would be cool to know what you think the peak of WoW was, because I can see people complaining about exactly the opposite.

Peak WoW was WotLK, followed closely by MoP.

I started at TBC too, right at the Wrath pre patch, having played 1 year in private servers prior to joining the official game.

You either heavily grind M+ or do rated PvP now. There is no other viable endgame if you like random BGs. And that sucks since both activities are as toxic as it gets.

I hoped we'd get good solo challenge+loot in Torghast, like we had in Horrific Visions, but not only is the reward useless after a while, it drops no loot and is completely imbalanced between specs.

There is also the huge grind for soul ash + the renown slog for every char.

WoW is fun to me when it's viable to play all classes. So yeah, shadowlands is unplayable.
 

StrayGuitarist

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Ahh, the disappointment of Blizzard. I've always been spiteful of them (with one of my moms ignoring my existence for 17 years and choosing World of Warcraft among other things over the other mother and me), especially with their censorship of remarks about the Chinese government, and I'm kinda glad that they're falling apart like this- because I genuinely enjoy the gameplay of some of their IPs, but I feel they're ruined by the company and its poor choices- both from a game design standpoint, and politically. I hope Dreamhaven and Frost Giant end up doing good things.
 
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