Overwatch director Jeff Kalpan has left Blizzard after 19 years with the company.
Blizzard announced Kaplan’s departure today. Founding member of the Overwatch team, Aaron Keller, will be stepping in as the game’s new director.
“Aaron has been a critical part of the Overwatch team and a key driver in creating the vision for the game,” said Blizzard. “He helped create Overwatch as an original member of the team, and as an 18-year veteran at Blizzard, he has worked side-by-side with Jeff for a long time, not only in building Overwatch but previously in helping to build World of Warcraft as well.”
“Jeff’s been a great leader, mentor, and friend, and he knows how much we’re going to miss him,’ said Keller in an official 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.”
Keller went on to praise the Overwatch team and to assure fans it is still in good hands, and that development on Overwatch 2 is “continuing at a good pace.”
“We have an exceptional vision we’re executing on, the reaction from many of you to the updates we shared at BlizzConline thrilled us, and we have exciting reveals planned for this year and beyond as we ramp to launch,” said Keller. “We’ll be sharing more frequent updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game with you all very soon.”
Kaplan added a personal note stating that his 19 years at Blizzard were “amazing.”
“It was truly the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to create worlds and heroes for such a passionate audience,” said Kaplan. “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.”
Kaplan’s did not touch upon his future plans.