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Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch Game Director, Leaves Blizzard After 19 Years

game director, Aaron Keller, Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch 2,

Blizzard Entertainment’s Jeff Kaplan, director of Overwatch, is leaving the company after 19 years of work. The official Overwatch website announced the leadership change, where Kaplan left some thoughts on his departure in a statement that lacks capitalization for some reason:

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.


jeffrey kaplan

Aaron Keller, an 18-year Blizzard veteran and founding member of the original game’s team, will serve as game director of Overwatch 2 moving forward. Keller has worked on the company’s World of Warcraft series and helped build out Overwatch with Kaplan.

“Jeff’s been a great leader, mentor, and friend, and he knows how much we’re going to miss him,” Keller said in his own statement. “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.”

As for Overwatch 2, which was announced all the way back in 2019 as a continuation of Blizzard’s hero shooter, Keller stated that development is “continuing at a good pace.” He added that exciting reveals are planned to arrive this year and that Blizzard will “be sharing more frequent updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game with you all very soon.”

Major Overwatch 2 updates have come few and far between since its reveal. However, Activision Blizzard has stated that the game likely won’t launch in 2021.

About the author

Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team back in 2019 as a news reporter but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. Most of his time is spent on the news team, but you’ll definitely see his name pop up in the opinion and interview sections from time to time. From the most obscure indie games to the industry’s AAA juggernauts, there’s nothing Michael isn’t interested in digging into. The vast majority of Michael’s work can be found at The Escapist, but his bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism has led him to other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, or The Binding of Isaac. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest in pop-culture, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing, I guess.