Geoff Goodman, the lead hero designer on Overwatch 2, has parted ways with Blizzard Entertainment. The announcement was made two weeks before the launch of the highly anticipated sequel to the company’s popular hero-based game, which is scheduled for October 4.
Goodman’s history with Overwatch dates back to the beginning, when the game was known as Blizzard’s Project Titan. He was Blizzard’s principal game designer and oversaw the balancing of every hero included in the two Overwatch titles.
For Overwatch, Goodman designed new heroes like the Junker Queen and Sojourn. He also reworked old characters like Orisa and Doomfist. The designer also notably worked as the boss battle designer for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft.
Fans first speculated about Goodman’s departure in late August, when the game developer released an ad for a lead hero designer. At the time, Goodman still had his position as the lead hero designer, so the ad stood out from the rest of the job postings.
Blizzard confirmed the news of Goodman’s departure via a brief statement which revealed that his decision to leave the company was made earlier this year.
“We thank Geoff for his many years of service at Blizzard and wish him all the best,” Blizzard wrote.
“His ability to bring to life Overwatch’s diverse hero roster through gameplay has been incredible, and the mark he’s left on the Warcraft and Overwatch teams will be felt for years to come.”
While the company did not mention the reason behind Goodman’s decision to leave, his move aligns with the current trend of high-profile employees at Blizzard leaving the company. Just this past year, Overwatch executive producer Chacko Sunny announced his departure, as well as the company’s producer, Tracy Kennedy.
The Overwatch game developer is reportedly in the process of being bought out by Microsoft in a USD $68.7 billion deal. Blizzard is currently under intense scrutiny as a result of a number of lawsuits. The higher-ups in the organization, including Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, were accused of workplace discrimination and harassment.
Blizzard was also accused of conducting insider trading and several other workplace-related issues. The US-based company is currently carrying out a series of internal investigations. The game developer has faced a number of issues before the launch of Overwatch 2, including the controversy surrounding the introduction of a battle pass.
After the launch of Overwatch 2, the original version of the game will shut down and existing players will receive the new version as an update. New players, on the other hand, will be offered the second version as an entirely new download.
The last unveiled character for Overwatch 2 was Kiriko, who had Goodman as the lead designer. The new battle pass system in the game will have new heroes which will become unlockable at level 50.
In a statement, Blizzard talked about the new heroes, explaining that while each was strong, some were more effective than others.
”While Overwatch 2 heroes will each have their own clear strengths and weakness, and some heroes will be more effective against others, we believe our game plays better and is more fun with fewer hard counters and a broader range of effective hero picks,” the game developer said.