Jeff Kaplan, director and public face of the Overwatch development team announced Tuesday that he is leaving Blizzard Entertainment after 19 years with the company.
Kaplan released a letter posted to Blizzard’s company news page reading, “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.”
Overwatch fans from as early as the game’s inception know Kaplan as the kind face in every Developer Update video detailing the hero-shooter’s newest tweaks and updates. But Kaplan has a more storied history of development at Blizzard than just his work on Overwatch. Kaplan is followed by Aaron Keller who will take over as Overwatch‘s new director. Keller worked closely with Kaplan back when the two were developing World of Warcraft.
Keller offered his own letter alongside Kaplan’s reading, “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.”
Keller continued by saying, “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.”