Yesterday it was confirmed that more high-profile developers are no longer working at Blizzard in the wake of the ongoing lawsuit circling the game studio. These departures include Diablo 4’s Director Luis Barriga, World of Warcraft designer Jonatha LeCraft and lead designer and Overwatch hero namesake Jesse McCree.
The news was first broke by Kotaku’s sources, and Activision Blizzard has confirmed via a statement to the outlet.
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” wrote Activision Blizzard in a statement to Kotaku via email. These departures come after a whirlwind few weeks which has seen Activision Blizzard defend against allegations brought forth by a California agency alleging in a lawsuit that the gaming giant fostered an environment which allowed sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.
Jesse McCree, namesake of the eponymous Overwatch’s cowboy hero, was pictured in the infamous Cosby Suite, which was detailed in a Kotaku report belonging to former World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi. Afrasiabi himself is one of the few specifically mentioned by name in the lawsuit allegations, with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing accusing the developer of sexually harassing female coworkers. WoW developer Jonathan LeCraft is also pictured in the Cosby Suite photograph.
Luis Barriga has been game director of Diablo 4, and while the game is still in development, Activision Blizzard states they have every confidence in the new leadership stepping into the roles vacated by those let go from the company.
“We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate. We are confident in our ability to continue progress, deliver amazing experiences to our players, and move forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for all.”
These departures come after a few weeks that have seen Blizzard’s president J. Allen Brack step down from his position, with Jen Oneil and Mike Ybarra stepping in as co-leaders of the studio. Additionally, Activision Blizzard workers have staged a walkout protest, sending a list of demands including more pay transparency, end to mandatory arbitration in all employee contracts, current and future, adoption of better recruiting, interviewing, hiring and promotion policies set to improve representation among all levels of employees, as well as bring in a third party to audit Activision Blizzard’s reporting structure, HR department and executive staff.
Featured image via Blizzard Entertainment