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Blizzard Co-Leader Jen Oneal Steps Down After Three Months



Blizzard co-leader Jen Oneal has made the decision to step down after just three months, claiming that the commitment to enforce change in the industry as shown by the team has inspired a new venture. And although the future has yet to reveal what's in store for the former Blizzard head, it seems as though no bad blood was left prior to the departure.

“Effective immediately, Mike Ybarra will lead Blizzard,” Oneal said in a statement. “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. 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.”

Oneal and Ybarra stepped up as co-leaders after J. Allen Brack's departure in August.

“Blizzard's best days are ahead…”

Further to Oneal's exit, Activision Blizzard will be pushing a $1 million grant in support of Women in Games International, a non-profit organisation that aims to evolve equality and diversity in the workplace. Oneal, who currently maintains a position in the organisation, has said that the money will be used for “skill-building and mentorship programs.”

“Blizzard’s best days are ahead,” Oneal continued. “I truly believe that. I also am hoping this letter helps you to think about what you can do to make everyone around you—no matter their gender, race, or identity—feel welcome, comfortable, and free to be themselves.”

What comes next for Blizzard? Will Ybarra be able to hold down the fort?

What's on the horizon for Blizzard? Can Ybarra tackle the storm solo?

Contrary to what many may believe, Oneal's departure from Blizzard doesn't have anything to do with the lawsuits regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. In relation to that, both Oneal and fellow lead Mike Ybarra have worked together to “develop many of the actions we’ll be taking to continue making Blizzard a safer, stronger, and more inclusive workplace.”

As for the future of Blizzard — that's really anybody's guess. The bottom line for this moment, however, is that Oneal is out, and Ybarra is in. Let's just hang fire and see what comes next. In the meantime, you can follow Blizzard's updates over on the official handle here.

So, what are your thoughts on the oddly short tenure? Was this a smart career choice for Oneal? Let us know over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.