Geoff Goodman, the lead hero designer on the Overwatch series, is leaving Blizzard Entertainment. The news comes ahead of the launch of Overwatch 2, which Goodman worked on as a designer for most of the game’s new playable characters. No exact reason was given for his departure from the studio.
Goodman was involved with Overwatch from its early stages when it was still conceptualised as an MMO called Titan. He would later help rework the designs for Doomfist and Orisa as well as design several new heroes including Sojourn and the Junker Queen. It’s likely that he had a hand in designing the newly announced character Kiriko as well, though this has not officially been confirmed.
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As for the exact reason why Goodman left, no reason was given for his departure, though this comes in the wake of several leading figures at Activision Blizzard exiting the company after the company’s harassment and discrimination lawsuit surfaced. Among many of the key figures who left Blizzard over the past couple of years, this includes game director Jeff Kaplan, lead character artist Renaud Galand, producer Tracy Kennedy and executive producer Chacko Sonny.
A Blizzard spokeperson reached out to PC Gamer and provided the following statement on Goodman’s departure:
“We thank [Goodman] for his many years of service at Blizzard and wish him all the best. 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.”
It’s safe to assume that Goodman completed much of his work on Overwatch 2 already before its launch later this year. In contrast to the original title, the sequel will go free-to-play on consoles and PC.
Overwatch 2 releases on 4 October 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Source: PC Gamer