With Jeff Kaplan stepping down from his role as Overwatch Gamer Director and leaving Blizzard, players are urging the company to celebrate the former face of the game with items during the Anniversary event.
On April 20, Kaplan shocked the gaming world when he announced he was leaving Blizzard after 19 years. With his departure, Aaron Keller would be taking over as Overwatch’s Game Director.
The community was extremely saddened by the news, with many in complete and utter disbelief. Especially with Overwatch 2 still in development and no release date confirmed just yet.
Now, the fandom has taken to Reddit to pitch Blizzard on suggestions to pay tribute to ‘daddy Jeff’ in the form of special in-game cosmetics.
On the very top of the Overwatch subreddit, user ivaneatstacos suggested that Kaplan’s yearbook photo be added to the game as an unlockable spray.
“I wish this photo makes it into the game as a spray,” they captioned the photo. “Thank you Jeff, for making OW such an amazing experience.”
Others had their own ideas, and with the game’s anniversary fast approaching, thought that there was no better way to honor Jeff than with his own special player icon.
User ZenofyMedia created a cool concept of what the 2021 Anniversary could look like with a special free unlockable “Director” icon for players upon logging in.
The concept, which looks so good it could be real, has Kaplan’s face morphed to look just like the hero icons players can unlock during the event. His glasses, hair and beard all capture his look perfectly.
Fans were absolutely over the moon for the idea. “I hope he left on good terms and we get this,” one prayed. “I would use that icon forever, make it happen Blizzard!” another pleaded.
So far, Blizzard hasn’t announced any plans to honor Kaplan in-game, but it’s clear there are countless ways to make it happen.
For his part, Kaplan does seem to be on favorable terms with the rest of the devs. In a final goodbye message on April 22, he asked the community for one final favor: “please take care of the Overwatch team. They are wonderful, caring, brilliant people and they need you right now.”
Hopefully, we end up actually getting Kaplan items added sometime in the near future and Blizzard uses some of these ideas for inspiration.