Activision Blizzard, publisher of franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft and more, is currently facing a lawsuit from the State of California alleging sexist workplace practices, systemic abuse and more. According to a report from Kotaku, Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft have all been let go from Blizzard Entertainment as of Wednesday.
McCree was reported to be one of the senior Blizzard staff taking part in the alleged “Cosby Suite,” with screenshots of comments made by McCree and others in a group chat recently surfacing.
This follows the news that Blizzard president J. Allen Brack was leaving the company, with Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra now co-leading Blizzard Entertainment. During Activision Blizzard’s recent Q2 earnings call, CEO Bobby Kotick said the company is committed to change, emphasizing that any managers or leaders that “impeded the integrity of our processes” would be let go. Activision Blizzard employees note that their demands have not yet been met.
We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment on the reported firings and will provide an update if we hear back.
During its Q2 earnings, Activision Blizzard also stated that development on Diablo 4 was proceeding, with the team working on providing additional content for increased engagement, though the game still has no release window.
Update: Blizzard confirms departure of three senior staff
A spokesperson from Blizzard confirmed to Windows Central that Barriga, McCree, and LeCraft are no longer employed with the company and “new leaders have been assigned.” The full statement is below:
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with 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.”