Three key Activision Blizzard developers have been let go from the company. While no official reason has been given, the departures come in the wake of the ongoing harassment lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing relating to the alleged “frat boy” culture of the company.
Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft have all been released from the company, according to Kotaku. Their teams were informed of their departure on Wednesday (August 11).
“We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate,” the company says in a statement shared with Kotaku. “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.”
Barriga had worked for Blizzard since 2006, working on World of Warcraft content before moving over the lead the development of Diablo 4. LeCraft had worked primarily on World of Warcraft since 2005, while McCree, a lead level designer at Blizzard, worked across multiple projects like Diablo 3, Diablo 4, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
While no reason was given for their departure, calls for McCree and LeCraft to be sacked were raised when the pair were found to be pictured in 2013 photograph of a hotel room nicknamed the “Cosby Suite” which was allegedly occupied by Alex Afrasiabi, the former World of Warcraft senior creative director who was dismissed last year for misconduct.
The departure of this group is also the latest in a series of departures from the company in recent weeks. President J. Allen Brack stepped down from his role last week to “pursue new opportunities” and has since been replaced by Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra.
Since information about the lawsuit came to light, CEO Bobby Kotic penned a letter to say “long-lasting changes” were coming to the company, but a group of employees under the ABK Worker’s Alliance banner, and several stockholders, have demanded improvements.
The lawsuit continues.