Geoff Goodman, the lead hero designer of Overwatch, has left Blizzard just weeks before the release of sequel Overwatch 2. The news was first reported and confirmed by PC Gamer, in which Blizzard confirms Goodman made plans to leave earlier in the year. No reason was given for his leave.
Heroes are an essential part of the Overwatch experience, and Goodman had been a key part of the design process since the production of the original 2016 Overwatch. Goodman’s work spans across the roster of Overwatch heroes, having done redesigns for the likes of Orisa and Doomfist. His work lives on into Overwatch 2 with new hero Kiriko, which Goodman is assumed to have worked on also.
The departure from the company does come at an inconvenient time, with the early access release of Overwatch 2 beginning in exactly two weeks on Oct. 4. Whilst the Overwatch team are losing a key member of staff, departures have been happening across the company as a whole. August Dean Ayala, the game director of Hearthstone, recently left the company after an 11 year career. Overwatch also lost its game director in 2021, when Jeff Kaplan announced his leave after 19 years at Blizzard.
The losses at Blizzard follow the ongoing lawsuit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the company, based on allegations of sexual misconduct and a misogynistic workplace culture. The lawsuit from the California state government triggered a separate class action lawsuit from Activision Blizzard’s shareholders for the company failing its duties. Staff at the company took part in walkouts to show their dissatisfaction with CEO Bobby Kotick’s handling of the situation, who remains CEO to this day.
What do you think the departure of Geoff Goodman means for Overwatch, if anything? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.