In a thread on Twitter, an Overwatch developer has come forward claiming that former Director Jeff Kaplan protected her and other devs from “corporate BS” and did his best to fight against it.
It has been a hellish week for Overwatch and World of Warcraft game developer Activision Blizzard, which has included a walkout and shareholders calling for Bobby Kotick’s resignation.
This all comes in the aftermath of a scathing report claiming that Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual misconduct and other disturbing company details. Kotick has claimed these reports are “misleading.”
But that hasn’t stopped employees from speaking out, including one OW producer, who has come forward sharing how she felt about the game’s former Director Jeff Kaplan.
Jeff Kaplan allegedly shielded Overwatch devs from “corporate BS”
Jeff Kaplan was Overwatch’s Director for many years and was an integral part in getting the hero shooter off the ground and into the lives of so many.
Many have looked upon Jeff’s time with Overwatch fondly, with many in the community referring to him as “Papa Jeff” when he worked on the game. This ‘papa bear’ mentality seems to have been more than a mere community sentiment though, according to Tracy Kennedy, an Overwatch Producer.
On November 16, amid the ongoing situation at Activision Blizzard, she spoke highly of Kaplan and his fortitude to purportedly protect developers from the “corporate BS” that was happening at the time in a thread on Twitter.
“The Kaplan I knew was a great guy who hated corporate BS and fought it until the bitter end,” Tracy wrote, “His philosophy was to shield us from it, and that’s why we have the good team we do, but now the toxicity is quite public and many have left from the shock of it.”
Since Jeff’s departure in April 2021, Aaron Keller has taken over the position. Aaron has been at Blizzard for some time and was a founding member of the Overwatch team.
How this most recent set of news will affect the future of Overwatch and OW2 is yet to be seen, however, it’s clear that the company still has a ways to go in order to win back the hearts of its fans.