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Former Xbox exec Mike Ybarra now leads Blizzard

Vicarious Visions boss Jen Oneal leaves Blizzard to focus on diversity in gaming, Mike Ybarra will now lead the games company.

Published Tue, Nov 2 2021 4:33 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 30 2021 12:31 AM CST

Former Xbox executive Mike Ybarra now the captain of Blizzard Entertainment as it weathers a storm of lawsuits and accusations.

Former Xbox exec Mike Ybarra now leads Blizzard 55 |

Today Jen Oneal, former boss of Vicarious Visions, announced she is leaving the company at the end of 2021. Mike Ybarra will now take over and lead Blizzard: "Mike Ybarra will take on Jen's leadership responsibility,"Activision said in its earnings call.

Ybarra and Oneal took the reins of Blizzard when ex-president J. Allen Brack left the company just a few months ago in August 2021.

Vicarious Visions used to be its own studio within Activision-Blizzard and was responsible for big remasters like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 and Diablo II Resurrected, but was eventually absorbed into Blizzard and simply became part of Blizzard Entertainment. Its previous studio name was scrubbed.

Oneal says she is leaving Blizzard to focus more on diversity in gaming.

"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 said, as reported by Gamesbeat.

"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."

Activision says it has agreed to make a donation to Oneal's Women in Games charity.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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