Jeff Kaplan, the most public face of Blizzard’s team shooter Overwatch, has left the company.
In a letter posted today, Kaplan said “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.” It’s not clear where Kaplan is headed, but his tenure at Blizzard lasted 19 years.
It’s also unclear what this might mean for Overwatch. The game is in a strange place at the moment, with a sequel in the work that isn’t expected to launch until after this year. Aaron Keller, described as a founding member of the Overwatch team and an 18-year Blizzard veteran, will be taking over Kaplan’s role.
In a statement, he wrote: “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.”
He added that “development is continuing at a good pace” on Overwatch 2 and that “we’ll be sharing more frequent updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game with you all very soon.”