There’s been an announcement today that one of the industry’s most beloved personalities, Jeff Kaplan, is leaving Blizzard after being with the company since 2002. Kaplan was a mainstay in producing World of Warcraft content and later become the much-loved face of the Overwatch Team.
Why did people flock to Jeff? Because he interacted with the community in both an extremely informative and hilarious way. He made the lovers of those games smile with the content he produced and helped craft some of your favorite WoW and Overwatch memes.
Truly, Overwatch 2 will not be the same without Jeff’s involvement and his departure does not bode well for the series in general. Kaplan was the driving force behind some of Blizzard’s best recent decision-making and if you’ve been following any news related to the studio lately, you understand how rare good decisions from Blizzard are.
Some of Kaplan’s more notable contributions were his insistence that players should not need to pay to unlock heroes in the original Overwatch game and that the skins they collected in the original game should carry over to the sequel.
Does this mean that with his departure, players will need to pay for each hero in Overwatch 2? Does this mean that skins collected will need to be bought again in the sequel? Only time will tell, but if the studio’s greed in their other releases is any indication (looking at you Hearthstone), then we’ll likely see a much more aggressive monetization model for Overwatch 2.
Unfortunately, Jeff’s departure is only the most recent piece in the downward spiral that is Blizzard Entertainment. Many other key members of the company, who contributed to some of their most highly-praised content, have also left the company for various reasons recently.
- David Kim recently left Blizzard, after leading the development of the systems team behind Diablo 4.
- Chris Kaleiki left after being with the company for 17 years and creating the Monk class in WoW.
- Brandy Camel recently left after being with he company for 8 years and being a devoted community manager for the Diablo series.
- Jeff Kaplan has left Blizzard after contributing so much to the World of Warcraft game, Overwatch, and its sequel
So, the question remains. What is causing the rot, and when will it end?