Overwatch is currently in a challenging place. To start, while Overwatch remains distinctly popular, Blizzard appears to have dropped all content plans for the game in favor of the development of Overwatch 2. Overwatch 2, however, doesn't appear to be releasing anytime soon. Now Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch's game director, has left Blizzard, leaving many feeling out of sorts. Yet as one last good deed on his way out, Kaplan's asked the Overwatch community to continue supporting the developer, who need their backing more than ever.
Kaplan may no longer be a part of Blizzard and the Overwatch team, but on Thursday he decided to take the time to thank one of Overwatch's most active communities. Overwatch players on Reddit have long been some of Overwatch's most vocal advocates, and fans of Kaplan especially. But as special as it was to the Overwatch subreddits, it was Kaplan's closing sentiment that most resounded. His final message reading, "Please take care of the Overwatch team. They are wonderful, caring, brilliant people and they need you right now."
A Reddit user would later be quoted by Kaplan as capturing the sentiment he was going for. The user said that Kaplan's departure would have to be "heartbreaking for the morale of the OW team" and that they don't need negative attitudes on top of dealing with the transition to a new team leader. It's in that context that Kaplan meant that the Overwatch team needed its community. This is a situation that no one likely wanted, but that all involved will have to make the best out of.
For the time being, unfortunately, there's little to be done within the Overwatch community. Blizzard's been surprisingly lacking in transparency with regards to the development of Overwatch 2. The community does what it can to stay energetic about the sequel and the current state of Overwatch, but the quietness can be frustrating. That said, the Overwatch community at Reddit and beyond is clearly behind the Overwatch 2 development team's efforts even with Kaplan's departure.
There's no better evidence of the Overwatch community's support of the development team than the comments in Kaplan's Reddit posts. Half of every comment is thankful to Kaplan specifically, while the rest describes how much they love Overwatch and what the game has meant to them. Those comments will hopefully provide the team with a healthy source of inspiration for the time being.
That said, Kaplan has clearly created a following not just within the Overwatch community but in the broader video game fandom. As confusion over his departure from Blizzard wanes, excitement over where Kaplan may go next grows. Kaplan has yet to discuss his plans, but wherever he goes he'll have an army of dedicated players anxious to play his next game.
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