Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan is leaving Blizzard

Blizzard Jen Oneal leaving company

Aaron Keller will fill step in as game director

Longtime Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has announced he is leaving Blizzard Entertainment. Aaron Keller, a founding member of the Overwatch team, will be stepping into his role moving forward.

In an announcement blog, Kaplan thanked his fellow developers and Blizzard employees, as well as Overwatch fans. You can read his statement in full 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 

In his own statement, newfound director Keller says development of Overwatch 2 is “continuing at a good pace.” Keller says there are exciting reveals planned for this year as the team ramps up to launch, and that it will be sharing “more frequent updates” about Overwatch 2‘s progress and features very soon.

Kaplan has been the public face of Overwatch for some time, even garnering some memes. He started at Blizzard Entertainment in 2002, with credits stretching back to World of Warcraft. After stepping down from game director on WoW to spearhead the eventually-canceled Titan, Kaplan then became the lead for what would become Overwatch.

Overwatch garnered tens of millions of players under his tenure. Now, with Overwatch 2 looming—though still without a launch target—we’ll see what the road ahead looks like with a new leader at the helm.

“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,” said Keller.

Eric Van Allen