Overwatch streamer Fran had a hilarious reaction when Jeff Kaplan dropped into her stream at BlizzCon.
Part of the Overwatch section of BlizzCon involved having popular Overwatch streamers broadcast live from the event. Doing so gave viewers from home a means of seeing some of the new content in action.
During these streams, Overwatch developers occasionally dropped in to talk about the game, discussing new hero Ashe in more detail and also allowing the various streamers to act as a conduit for fan questions for those that couldn’t make it to BlizzCon.
Fran was one such streamer at BlizzCon, but when she saw which developer exactly her Q&A session would be with, it was clear she wasn’t expected the Overwatch game director himself.
To Overwatch fans and players, Jeff Kaplan isn’t just another developer. Not only is he the game director, but he’s also the face of the game, communicating Blizzard’s plans via developer updates and taking the main spotlight whenever Blizzard has a significant Overwatch presentation to make.
Beyond his position of authority over the game, however, Kaplan’s popularity also stems from his reputation as an old-school, hardcore gamer.
Before even joining Blizzard, Kaplan was a well-known player on EverQuest, under the name “Tigole”, where he was particularly recognized for some epic (and expletive-filled) forum rants about the state of the game before getting a job working on World of Warcraft to prove he could do better.
Altogether, the result is a celebrity status for Kaplan that’s rarely afforded to game developers, and subsequently the increased likelihood of these kind of reactions when he drops in on an Overwatch player unannounced.