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Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan Leaves Blizzard Entertainment

geary

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https://www.ign.com/articles/overwatch-director-jeff-kaplan-leaves-blizzard-entertainment

https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/news/23665015/

Greetings, Overwatch Community,



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.



I love Overwatch.
From our first pieces of concept art, to the first maps we built, to the first time I was able to run around as Tracer (who at that early point shot laser beams out of her eyes), this game has just clicked with me. I love its inspiring, hopeful, beautiful world worth fighting for. I love its characters—larger than life, colorful, powerful, and global. And most of all, I love the fast, fluid gameplay requiring teamwork, situational awareness, and quick decision making.



I also recognize that making games at Blizzard
has always been a group effort and never about just one point of view. Together with the rest of the team I feel fortunate that we have a deep bench of development and creative leaders, numerous veteran Blizzard artists and designers, and some extremely talented new blood as well—along with tons of support throughout the company for the live game and for Overwatch 2.



Speaking of Overwatch 2, development
is continuing at a good pace. We have an exceptional vision we’re executing on, the reaction from many of you to the updates we shared at BlizzConline thrilled us, and 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 with you all very soon.



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.



-Aaron
 
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3liteDragon

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Those developer updates will never be the same. 😢
 

Jebron

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Wow, I thought he would have at least held out until Overwatch 2 released. The fact he put years of work in on OW2 only to quit before it's even released doesn't bode well for the game.
 
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Azzurri

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It could be also how OverWatch league is pretty much bleeding money and not how Blizzard envisioned it would be.
 
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Azzurri

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The eSports focus was the downfall of Overwatch - great idea Blizzard, let's constantly balance and mess up the game mechanics for a few hundred eSports players instead of providing new content for the millions of casual players.

It's what's happening to WoW, they're pretty much balancing around the MDI and eSports.
 

Enjay

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The eSports focus was the downfall of Overwatch - great idea Blizzard, let's constantly balance and mess up the game mechanics for a few hundred eSports players instead of providing new content for the millions of casual players.
This is the same thing that killed the fighting game genre the second time.
 

Roxkis_ii

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It was probably a smart move for Jeff. If overwatch 2 flops, he left making a stand.

Overwatch has to be one of the most mishandled franchises. It's really sad how much they could have capitalized off just the lore alone. If only they would have put the effort from overwatch league into the actual game, it wouldn't have lost so many players, and popularity.
 
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Azzurri

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It was probably a smart move for Jeff. If overwatch 2 flops, he left making a stand.

Overwatch has to be one of the most mishandled franchises. It's really sad how much they could have capitalized off the lore alone. If only they would have put the effort from overwatch league into the actual game, it wouldn't have lost so many players, and popularity.

Yea, it's a shame how they built such a cool world and lore, but the game is a crap team shooter.

It's such wasted potential
 

Bitmap Frogs

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If I were a betting man, the activision vampires looked at how much overwatch 2 development has costed so far, the state it is in, and decided ol' Jeff ain't fit for the job.
 

Foorbits

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Is anyone really surprised by any of this?

Overwatch 2 has always been a confused piece of vaporware that was only announced because Papa Acti said Blizzard had to start announcing new games. Kaplan's resignation letter started being penned that day.
 
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Azzurri

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Is anyone really surprised by any of this?

Overwatch 2 has always been a confused piece of vaporware that was only announced because Papa Acti said Blizzard had to start announcing new games. Kaplan's resignation letter started being penned that day.

Yea, OW2 is basically just a single story expansion pack with minor graphic overhaul.

I don't understand the need to call it OW2.
 

BlackM1st

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Yea, OW2 is basically just a single story expansion pack with minor graphic overhaul.

I don't understand the need to call it OW2.
I have around 60 reasons for you... People love to buy "new" games. Look how much each CoD sells annually.
 
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Foorbits

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I have around 60 reasons for you... People love to buy "new" games. Look how much each CoD sells annually.
Overwatch is not COD though. And the way it was announced was confusing as hell... basically $60 single player DLC? Still playable with OW1? What is this product? They went the wrong direction with this game. Imagine a Fortnite 2 or Apex Legends 2.... absurd notion.
 

wipeout364

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Not sure how to take this news. Overwatch is probably one of my top played games of last gen. I used to love the game but the constant nerfing of characters I would play left me feeling upset too often and in the end I just moved on about two years ago.

I have blamed a lot of this aggressive nerfing on the Esports aspect which honestly never interested me but had a huge impact on me as a causal player because they were always so focused on it.

Kaplan took most of the blame for this but I often wondered if he is just the face of it . I guess we will see where it all leads.
 
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balls of snow

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Meanwhile Apex is thriving over there dripping with lore and new legends every 3 months. Shouldve had that season pass implemented and kick lootboxes into the grave Jeff.
 

harmny

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Meanwhile Apex is thriving over there dripping with lore and new legends every 3 months. Shouldve had that season pass implemented and kick lootboxes into the grave Jeff.

Team fortress is 14 years old and it's still thriving. and that game basically invented loot boxes. So loot boxes are not the problem.

This is bad but I was wondering when he was going to leave because everyone else was already gone.
 
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rubenburgt

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Usually is it a bad sign if the lead developer stops during a development of a new game.

...but seeing how terrible Overwatch 1 currently is, is new leadership maybe not that bad.

But I do get the impression that he didn't left the company voluntarily.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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I stopped playing OW 2 years ago, went to R6S full time and never looked back, the balance changes along with the match making systems were pantsu on head retarded and showed they had no idea how to balance shit!
 

HE1NZ

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Sad news. Overwatch 2 looked really good, but I wonder how much of it actually make it into a final product.
 

MiguelItUp

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Considering how Jeff Kaplan presents himself, I'm surprised his exit from Blizzard wasn't a more thoughtful post. Y'know, a few paragraphs, or whatever. It was really small and direct. Which is pretty sad to me considering it's coming from someone that has been there for basically 2 decades.

For me, Overwatch was a flash in a pan that I enjoyed for a few weeks, and that was about it. I personally don't care for 2 at all. Hell, at the last Blizzcon all the OW2 info that was talked about just felt off-putting to me. Something about it felt like it lacked confidence. Proper direction, etc.

It all just felt really strange.
 
Apr 27, 2018
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Company has been a zombie already for a while now. With that shit ceo raking in 100's of millions of salary and firing anybody for even more money in his pocket. Yea who the fuck even wants to work there.
Lay offs aren't firings, and Activision seems to be getting heat for what they're doing to CoD and now OW... hopefully they'll learn their lesson but that's just wishful thinking.
 
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The abruptness of this and the way it was presented was worrying. Jeff was basically like "peace out, love you guys" and Blizzard focused more on giving Aaron a platform to explain that he really loves Blizzard and will be a great person to fill in Jeff's shoes. You'd think more time would have been spent honoring Jeff and his contributions, not trying to convince everyone that Aaron is the right person to take over.
 
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wipeout364

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With no warning this is probably either being fired, he got a crazy new gig and was fired, or personal issues.

Overwatch is one of the few new really successful IP’s. Blizzard has really fumbled the management of it. Overwatch 2 should have been a completely new game with no compatibility with Overwatch 1. Given its slow release they also should have made it next gen(series X and PS5 exclusive since it looks like it will be 2022 before it’s released.) I’m sure Kotick is looking at how he monetized COD and seeing all the wasted potential of Overwatch in his mind.

To be fair Overwatch needs a serious kick in the pants. The focus on PVE and co-op in Overwatch 2 seems seriously misguided.
 

balls of snow

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Team fortress is 14 years old and it's still thriving. and that game basically invented loot boxes. So loot boxes are not the problem.

This is bad but I was wondering when he was going to leave because everyone else was already gone.
Sure but that had Steam backing the funds needed. Battle pass and season pass gives the team a somewhat recurring revenue to expand the game. Its why a subscription model like elders scrolls online expansions are coming out every year and meaty af. Pretty clear all the budget went into overwatch 2 which is now, what a 2023 game.
 

TransTrender

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I wish him the best, I hope he finds a new outlet for his creativity, and look forward to his future projects.
I'm hoping Activision hasn't damaged him much, maybe a bit jaded and cynical, but some time away from that toxicity will definitely help.
Go play with your friends at Frost Giant or Dreamhaven!
 

TheContact

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This was the dagger for me. Kaplan was such a massive part of blizzard, the company is now a shell of its former self. God help overwatch 2
 

harmny

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I wish him the best, I hope he finds a new outlet for his creativity, and look forward to his future projects.
I'm hoping Activision hasn't damaged him much, maybe a bit jaded and cynical, but some time away from that toxicity will definitely help.
Go play with your friends at Frost Giant or Dreamhaven!

activision damaging jeff? toxicity? look at this everquest rant he wrote before joining blizzard to design wow. he'll be fine

"Whoever came up with this sheer fisting of an encounter can go fuck themselves. Do me a favor so I don't waste my guild's time on this kind of jackass shit-fest again, send me an email at tigole@legacyofsteel.net when you decide to A) Implement an encounter that wasn't designed by a retarded chimp chained to a cubicle A.)Get a Quality Assuarance Department C) Actually beta test the fucking thing and D) Patch it live. And please for god's sake -- do it in the order I laid out for you. Don't worry, I won't charge you a consulting fee on that one. And for good luck you might as well E) Pull your heads out of your asses. While you're at it rename the game to BetaQuest since you've used up you're alotted false advertising karma on the Bazaar and user interface scam of '01.Fix the Emperor encounter. Fix Seru. Rethink your time-sink bullshit. Fix all the buggy motherfucking ring encounters (I suggest you let whoever made the Burrower one do this since that dude apparently laid off the crack the rest of you were smoking). Fix the VT key quest. Fix VT (just guessing it's fucked up considering your track record). Don't have the resources to fix this stuff? Move the ENTIRE Planes of Power team over to fixing Shadows of Luclin AND DO IT NOW. If you don't fix Luclin, you jackassess will be the only ones playing the Planes of Power."
 
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Barakov

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Sep 30, 2006
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Eh, I'm kinda indifferent to this. I played Overwatch for a good year and a half nearly everyday because I was having fun with it. Things only started to go downhill once they introduced competitive and started to make changes to pacify the competitive crowd. I'm taking a wait and see approach with OW2. Hopefully PvE brings some of that magic back. OW in it's current state is a chore to play.
 

TransTrender

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activision damaging jeff? toxicity? look at this everquest rant he wrote before joining blizzard to design wow. he'll be fine
:rolleyes:

You going to cancel him or something?

From what I've heard from employees during his time when heavily involved on WoW and Titan he was fine.
 

Kittehkraken

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I'm not expecting much from Overwatch 2 considering how mismanaged the first one was. Modders with actual day jobs could have been done a better job at keeping Overwatch updated with content.
 
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Vaelka

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It's just not Blizzard anymore, even calling it '' Activison Blizzard '' gives it too much credit imo.

Even with the D2 remaster which everyone is praising they've already fucked things up and have opened up for changing the game even tho they said they wouldn't.
Their surveys for the beta is asking people if they want big gameplay changes and they've been lying left and right ( reminds me so much of WC3R ).

It's sad but Blizzard is dead, it's just Activison fucking around with their IP's.