Earlier this week, Jeff “Papa” Kaplan resigned from Blizzard and took his ball and went home. It was a slow news day in the video game world and most every gaming news outlet published a story about it. There have been reports that Overwatch fans are very concerned about Kaplan’s departure as their lord and savior has abandoned them.
Jeff Kaplan is a name that every serious MMORPG player from EverQuest to World of Warcraft knows. He was the former outspoken EverQuest guild leader that gained notoriety by taking John Smedley to task for his incompetence and mismanagement of the EverQuest franchise in its early days. In 2002, Kaplan parlayed his dedication and knowledge into securing a position at Blizzard designing quests for WoW.
Kaplan distinguished himself because of his smarts and sharp mind, as evidenced at the first Blizzcon where he spoke at a WoW raid panel. He left the WoW team at Blizzard in and around 2009 when he was transferred to the ill-fated Project Titan which turned into one of the biggest catastrophes in modern video game history.
While I respect Kaplan for the 7 years of work he did on WoW, his recent contributions to WoW, MMORPGs and virtual worlds in general has been non-existent. I believe that somewhere between 2007 to 2009 he mentally checked out of WoW and was no longer interested in it. His contribution to Wrath of the Lich King (lame achievements and more daily quests) was dubious and questionable at best. Perhaps he got married, was busy raising a family and his priorities changed as happens with many MMO developers.
For 13 years, Kaplan has had nothing to do with WoW or even MMORPGs, which is why I don’t understand why Asmongold appears to be simping for him.
Asmongold’s YouTube thumbnail reads:
Thank you Jeff!
Thank you for what?!?
Thank you for copying achievements from XBox Live and shoehorning them into WoW?
Thank you for giving us boring obligatory daily quests in WoW?
Thank you for staying silent and allowing WoW to deteriorate into a soulless, anti-social, single-player “MMO” when atrocities like Group Finder and Raid Finder were introduced?
Thank you for abandoning WoW players along with the rest of Blizzard Team A and left us the incompetent Blizzard Team B to subsequently ruin WoW with a series of horrible expansions?
Thank you for showing us that you failed at creating a new MMO when there was no EverQuest for you to steal from?
Thank you for being silent when cultural Marxist game journalists and developers conspired to cancel male gamers in the GamerGate fiasco?
Thank you for giving in to the demands of social justice warriors by adding in token LGBTQ characters into Overwatch?
Thank you for your endless hollow virtue signaling about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and representation?
Thank you for helping to destroy Blizzard by not objecting to the intrusion of wokeness and identity politics into Blizzard’s studio culture and game content?
Thank you for not objecting to Activision-Blizzard hiring anti-white, racist author Robin D’Angelo to give a speech at the Activision campus?
There’s plenty more I could say. Just do a search of “Kaplan” on this site and many more examples will come up of his litany of blunders and shenanigans at Blizzard.
Maybe Asmongold should organize a candlelight vigil for Jeff “Papa” Kaplan at the foot of the orc statue at Blizzard Headquarters in Irvine. NO KAPLAN, NO PEACE! I’m sure Jeff’s ego would appreciate that.
Asmongold’s video and most every other news story about Kaplan’s resignation this week are full of obligatory and predictable sentimentality about Kaplan’s departure from Blizzard. I find it strange that when Alex “Furor” Afrasiabi quietly left Blizzard there was no fanfare, no press coverage, no candle light vigils, no outpouring of grief. I believe Afrasiabi had a far greater impact on WoW than Kaplan. While he did leave with Kaplan to move to Titan, at least he came back and continued to work on WoW.
To be fair, Asmongold’s video has some good moments. He played a now famous clip of Steve Jobs explaining why many corporations promote the marketing people instead of the product people which ultimately leads to the demise of famous companies who keep making this mistake. The same thing is happening in the video game industry.
All I am saying is that it would be nice if the video game press would start looking critically at these rockstar devs instead of heaping fawning praise on them. Nobody is served well when we lionize and glorify developers and ignore their mistakes. The end goal of video game journalism and commentary should not be advocacy or sycophancy; the end goal should be that the industry is making better games because of it.
If the video game press and YouTube commentators won’t hold developers responsible, then who will?
Years ago there was a cable TV show called Mystery Science Theater 3000. Reaction videos are somewhat similar. Asmongold has made a good living on YouTube pumping out a daily deluge of reaction videos. These videos are the equivalent of entertainment junk food on YouTube. YouTubers who don’t have the talent, intellect, or inclination to actually create content love to make these videos because you don’t need a script, you just need the gift of the gab and an opinion.
I looked up Kaplan’s net worth and apparently he has a net worth of $12 million. Asmongold has a purported net worth $2-$3 million. I find it hilarious that one millionaire is simping for another millionaire. How about simping for people that are barely surviving in today’s dysfunctional world? How about simping for 74 million people that just had their voices silenced in previous election?
It’s time to get some proper perspective about Kaplan’s departure from Blizzard. What happened this week was not the the bombing of Pearl Harbor or the JFK assassination. All that happened was an overrated, overpaid, out of touch developer living on past glories left a declining video game studio. We’re going to get through this folks. Trust me, everything will be okay.