Following the news of Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV getting delayed, Blizzard Co-Leader Jen Oneal has announced she’s leaving the company. Oneal stepped into the role, alongside Mike Ybarra, only three months ago when former Blizzard President J. Allen Brack departed. She announced that she will move to a new position before leaving the company at “the end of the year.” Mike Ybarra takes over as the leader of Blizzard starting today.
Oneal revealed the news in a message posted to the Blizzard website. In the announcement, she writes that she’s “been thinking about the potential of what I can do as an individual to create the most meaningful change.” Oneal has worked in the games industry for two decades. She was the former head of Vicarious Visions before it got brought into Blizzard. She’s been a part of the company since January. During the year, Activision Blizzard has been surrounded by controversy. However, Oneal maintains she isn’t leaving due to it being a hopeless situation.
“I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite — I’m inspired by the passion of everyone here, working towards meaningful, lasting change with their whole hearts,” Oneal wrote. “This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I am not totally sure what form that will take, I am excited to embark on a new journey to find out.”
Of donations and the future
In the message, Oneal wrote that Activision Blizzard agreed to invest in “women in the gaming industry.” The company will donate $1 million USD to Women in Games International, a non-profit organization of which Oneal is a board member. She writes that the grant will “be used to fund skill-building and mentorship programs.” To end the message, Oneal leaves on a positive note about the future of Blizzard.
“I wanted to tell the Blizzard community this personally because I want you to know I believe so strongly in Mike and the rest of Blizzard’s leadership both in terms of Blizzard’s culture and Blizzard’s games,” Oneal wrote. “Blizzard’s best days are ahead. I truly believe that.”