Fans on Reddit I have noticed that a reference to the old Supervision Game director Jeff Kaplan has been removed from the upcoming sequel’s New York City map. Players saw that the bastion redevelopment on September 25 advertisement video by Overwatch 2 shows that the pizzeria formerly called Jeph’s Corner Pizza is simply Corner Pizza.
Fans can see the change for themselves around the 1-minute mark in Bastion’s announcement video, showing the new hero’s ultimate and the pizzeria in the background. However, the nod to Kaplan doesn’t appear to be on the store sign.
The move is likely part of Blizzard Entertainment’s push to remove in-game references to its employees in the wake of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
Since filing the lawsuit, the company disclosed I would change the name Supervisionit’s McCree, named after a Devil 4 lead game designer. A statement from the World of warcraft team said staff would “remove inappropriate references” for Azeroth“Presumably referring to the Easter eggs involving Alex Afrasiabi, a former senior creative director for the game who was named directly in the lawsuit.”
In April, Blizzard announced that Kaplan was leaving the company. He was replaced by Aaron Keller, a prominent member of the Supervision team that helped design the beloved map of King’s Row. Kaplan’s departure came before the wave of lawsuits filed against Activision Blizzard.
In the official Press release, Blizzard said Kaplan “has decided to leave the company after a long and historic career.” At the end of the statement, Blizzard included a “personal note” from Kaplan, saying: “It was truly the honor of a lifetime.” Kaplan’s reason for leaving Blizzard remains unclear.
Now, as Blizzard continues to deal with multiple demands, the company has begun deleting numerous employee-related Easter eggs and references that appear in Blizzard games. The removal of “Jeph” occurs when Blizzard makes changes to company policy.
In August, a Blizzard representative said Kotaku that “[Blizzard] will review the real-world benchmarks currently used in our games and make decisions based on how they best represent the core values of our games. ”That month, the company announced that it would be changing the McCree name.
However, Jeph’s Corner Pizza wasn’t the only reference to Kaplan. Reddit users he also saw a coffee mug that said “Jeph” on Overwatch 2, a nod to an image in which Kaplan is holding a cup of coffee with a misspelled version of his name. The mug is found in a copy of a book called “The Green Hills of Stranglethorn,” a mission from World of warcraft also designed by Kaplan, detected by a user. It’s unclear if that reference will remain in the sequel as well.