Overwatch game director and longtime Blizzard developer Jeff Kaplan is leaving the studio and handing the series' reins over to fellow Overwatch dev Aaron Keller.
Kaplan's departure was announced by Blizzard in a blog introducing his replacement, and includes a brief note at the end from Kaplan himself thanking the teams that worked alongside him throughout his nearly two decades at Blizzard.
"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," writes Kaplan.
"But I want to say a special thanks to the wonderful game developers that shared in the journey of creation with me," he continues. "Never accept the world as it appears to be. Always dare to see it for what it could be. I hope you do the same."
Kaplan's 19 years at Blizzard have seen him involved in a number of projects in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft side of Blizzard's business, though many recognize him as the public face of the Overwatch development team thanks to his many candid Developer Update videos throughout the game's liftime.
Moving forward, Keller is stepping in as game director for Overwatch, which will also see him taking over Kaplan's responsibilities for Overwatch 2 as well. That announcement post from Blizzard shares that Keller was one of the founding members of the Overwatch dev team and has been with Blizzard for nearly two decades as well.
"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," reads a portion of Keller's statement.