Earlier this month, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's gaming division, Mike Ybarra, left the company, which capped off the end of a 20-year long career. But Ybarra hinted that he had exciting things coming in the future, and now we know what he was referring to. As of today, Ybarra announced that he would joining Overwatch and World of Warcraft studio Blizzard.

Ybarra confirmed his new position on Twitter, where he clarified that his new role would be as executive vice president and general manager. He won't officially be starting until November 14th, which is after Blizzard's upcoming convention BlizzCon, though he will be making an appearance at the show, possibly to further introduce himself and maybe partake in one of the supposed new announcements that Blizzard has planned. Considering his extensive career at Microsoft, it isn't unsurprising to see him taking such a high-profile role at Blizzard.

"We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences. I can't wait to be part of this team."

BlizzCon is certainly setting up to be an interesting time. The event, which will run on November 1st - 2nd, will apparently be host to a few sequel announcements if recent rumors are to be believed. Among them include a direct sequel to Overwatch, as well as Diablo 4 and a remaster of Diablo 2. Last year, Blizzard's announcement of mobile title Diablo Immortal was met with resounding negativity from across the board, so it could be trying to win back the fan-base with both a new game and a beloved classic. Of course, nothing has been properly confirmed so it's important that fans not put too much stock in these rumors.

However, BlizzCon could be interesting for entirely different reasons. Ybarra will be joining the company during a very tumultuous period, as it is still dealing with the fallback from suspending a professional Hearthstone player after he expressed support for the protesters in Hong Kong during an official broadcast. Since then, the company has been subjected to an almost endless stream of criticism and boycotts from its fans, and has even been condemned by US Senators.

The sheer size and severe weight of this controversy means it's very unlikely it won't be brought up in some way during BlizzCon. The question is whether Blizzard will actively address it or not, as well as if any protesters will be in attendance to keep the controversy in the public eye.

Source: GameSpot