Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan exits Blizzard after 19 years

Jeff Kaplan Overwatch Yule Log

The Overwatch leadership at Blizzard Entertainment is going through a shakeup, as Jeff Kaplan has exited the company after 19 years of working there. His game director position is going to another veteran at Blizzard, with Aaron Keller taking up the role to lead the competitive experience.

Before being heavily involved in Overwatch, Kaplan's previous work at Blizzard involved being a World of Warcraft designer and game director, as well as the designer behind the canceled Titan MMO.

"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. "

Aaron Keller, who is also an original member of the Overwatch development team with 18 years of experience at Blizzard under his belt, had this to say regarding the high-profile departure and his new role:

"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. "

"While I have no pretenses about filling Jeff’s shoes, I’m excited to step into the game director role and continue to be part of a team that’s putting all of its heart, talent, and focus into the next iteration of Overwatch, and I’m honored to continue serving this incredible community."

Keller will be taking care of both the ongoing live service elements of Overwatch and the upcoming sequel that hasn't had much time in the spotlight yet. Overwatch 2's development is progressing "at a good pace" according to Keller, who added new updates regarding the franchise's future will be shown off soon.

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