Jeff Kaplan, the game director for Overwatch, and known as "Papa Jeff" among the game community, has departed Blizzard after 19 years working for the company.
Kaplan made the announcement on the Overwatch blog page, stating that it was "truly the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to create worlds and heroes for such a passionate audience."
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.
Before his time working on Overwatch, Kaplan was a designer and director on World of Warcraft (and various expansions) - he is perhaps best known for his work on Overwatch though, thanks to his role in presenting many of the community update videos and his appearances in the annual Overwatch Yule Log videos, where he would sit silently in front of a Christmas tree and simply drink from an Overwatch mug.
Help us thank Jeff Kaplan for being the Mercy to our Genji. Thank you for always daring to see the world as it could be.— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 20, 2021
Also, help us welcome Aaron Keller as Overwatch's new Game Director. We can't wait to continue fighting for the future with you.
➡️ https://t.co/119g1mIh4M pic.twitter.com/w2Pmq3sBKn
Kaplan will be replaced by Aaron Keller, who is the assistant director of the game. Keller also left messages of support, stating that "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."
Overwatch 2's development is continuing a-pace, though, with Keller noting that Blizzard will be sharing more frequent updates on the game soon.