Overwatch 2 has gone through a rather tumultuous development cycle since it was first announced at BlizzCon in 2019. At the time, director Jeff Kaplan stated that they would be shifting the majority of their work on the series away from Overwatch so they could focus on Overwatch 2. While an anticipated release date was never announced, it was assumed that the usually very transparent Blizzard branch of Activision Blizzard would provide regular updates on the sequel.
Those updates have, for the most part, not been happening. Obviously, a global pandemic impacted many video game developers, but everything around Overwatch 2 has created concern for fans, including the departure of Kaplan from the company. They did eventually host an event to show all the new features that will come in Overwatch 2, and announced some major changes to the series in the process, but fans were still weary about the direction of the sequel.
Those concerns only continue to grow with the report from Jason Schreier of Bloomberg that Chacko Sonny, the executive producer of Overwatch 2, is leaving the company. Per Schreier, Sonny was expected to play a major role in the future of Overwatch 2 following Kaplan’s departure. Despite his departure, though, Activision Blizzard maintained in a statement to Bloomberg that the game is entering the “final stages of production” and more information will be available soon.
Chacko Sonny, executive producer of Overwatch, told staff he will leave the company on Friday, according to people familiar with the situation. A spokesman for parent company Activision Blizzard Inc. confirmed his departure.
Several Blizzard employees, speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to talk with the press, said Sonny was well-respected and that they weren’t aware of any allegations against him. Sonny was perceived as a stabilizing force on the Overwatch team following the departure of director Jeff Kaplan earlier this year, the people said.
Sonny’s departure comes during a period in which Activision Blizard is being carefully observed by everyone. Multiple allegations and lawsuits have been filed against the company ranging from ignoring sexual harassment, gender disparity in pay, and unfair labor practices. His reason for leaving was not mentioned, but Bloomberg’s report stated that the lawsuits and investigations were not mentioned in his email when he announced his departure.
Overwatch 2 has now had two major leaders for the game leave in the middle of production. This is not normal, as most developers do their best to stay on until a game is complete or in a state where they can feel confident that it can be finished without them. Currently, the director of the game is Aaron Keller who took over for Kaplan in April.