The lead hero designer behind Overwatch’s huge roster of characters—and the ones to come in its upcoming sequel—has left Blizzard, the company confirmed to PC Gamer.
Geoff Goodman “made the decision to leave Blizzard earlier this year,” a Blizzard spokesperson said. The last public appearance by Goodman was in a group interview (opens in new tab) with press in June.
Blizzard provided a statement about Goodman’s departure:
“We thank Geoff 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.”
Goodman’s history with Overwatch goes all the way back to before it was known as Overwatch, when the team was still working on project Titan. Titan was cancelled and resurrected (opens in new tab) into the team-based hero shooter that launched in 2016. Outside of the game’s former director Jeff Kaplan, who left Blizzard in 2021 (opens in new tab), Goodman was one of the few faces of Overwatch, frequently asked to discuss balance changes and new heroes in interviews and events.
Goodman helped design major reworks for Doomfist and Orisa, new heroes Sojourn (opens in new tab) and Junker Queen (opens in new tab), and likely had a hand in several of the game’s upcoming heroes, including new support hero Kiriko (opens in new tab).
Although no reason was given for why Goodman left, it comes after a series of high-profile Blizzard departures in the buildup and aftermath of the lawsuit (opens in new tab) filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for workplace harassment and discrimination last year. Overwatch’s executive producer Chacko Sonny left the company in 2021 (opens in new tab) and producer Tracy Kennedy left last September (opens in new tab).
Speaking of the turmoil at Blizzard in a group interview with PC Gamer in April, Goodman said the team made sure everyone was in a “good spot,” and felt “safe,” before returning to work on the game. “It seems to be everyone’s, you know, much happier now and things are going forward. But I think it’s it’s still there and still lingers. It’s definitely a morale hit.”
Overwatch 2’s October free-to-play launch is imminent, but some fans of the original game are dismayed by what will change in the sequel. The game recently detailed its seasonal battle pass model (opens in new tab) and how it will lock each new hero behind tier 55 (out of 80) of the free track. In a group interview with PC Gamer last week, Overwatch general manager Walter Kong said that “heroes are the single most engaging content that we have in the game,” and that “it seemed to be a very strong fit to put those heroes into our new engagement systems.”
Overwatch 2 will launch and replace the original game (opens in new tab) on October 4.