Major changes at Blizzard Entertainment, as Overwatch game director leaves the company.

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that Jeff Kaplan, the game director of the massively successful multiplayers shooter Overwatch, is leaving the company.

Kaplan, who is considered by most as the face of the Overwatch brand has decided to depart the company after working with them for 19 years.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise, as it has come at a time when the development of the sequel to the original Overwatch is in the middle of its development cycle.

In the statement, which was released on the Overwatch website, Kaplan said “It was truly the honour 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 teams and our players.

“I want to say a special thanks to the wonderful game developers that shared in the journey of creation with me.”

In the same statement, it was announced that Aaron Keller, who is described as an ’18-year veteran at blizzard’ will be stepping in to replace the departing Kaplan as game director of the Overwatch team.

In his own message in the statement Keller took the opportunity to thank Kaplan, saying “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.”

In addition, Keller commented on the opportunity presented to him saying “I’m excited to step into the game director role and together with the rest of the team I feel fortunate that we have a deep bench of development and creative leads for the live game [Overwatch 1] and for Overwatch 2.”

Overwatch 2 was announced at BlizzCon in late 2019. While the game is a fully fledged sequel, it will feature a ‘shared multiplayer environment’ between it and the original Overwatch.

The game will also feature a new, permanent four-player coop mode, similar to the originals special seasonal events and will be exclusive to Overwatch 2

Keller gave an update on Overwatch 2 at the end of his statement. He said “We have exciting reveals planned for this year and beyond as we ramp to launch. We’ll be sharing more frequent updates about Overwatch 2 progress and new features in the live game and for Overwatch 2.”

(Cover Photo Credit: Blizzard)

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