Diablo IV director, other designers let go from Blizzard

Daniel Sims

Posts: 174   +10
Staff
What just happened? Kotaku learned yesterday that Diablo IV director Luis Barriga, World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft, and lead level designer Jesse McCree, no longer work at Blizzard Entertainment. Sources didn't say why, but the departures come amid a lawsuit accusing parent company Activision Blizzard of widespread discrimination and sexual harassment.

Activision Blizzard confirmed the departures to Kotaku via email. "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."

Blizzard announced Diablo IV at the BlizzCon expo in 2019, with Barriga being the one who initially presented the game. This past February, the company revealed it isn't planning to launch the game until sometime after this year. Earlier this month, Blizzard also confirmed it was delaying its upcoming mobile game Diablo Immortal.

McCree, whom the cowboy-themed character in Overwatch is named after, was one of the Blizzard employees seen in the now infamous "Cosby Suite" photo taken at BlizzCon 2013. The suite had an ominous reputation within the company, against which the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit last month accusing it of enabling a "frat boy" culture. McCree had been at the company since 2005.

The departure has boosted requests from fans to change the Overwatch character's name, which started after McCree's connections to the lawsuit's accusations became known. According to Dexerto, Overwatch League casters have even started to avoid saying the character's name, instead referring to him with names like "the cowboy."

A Blizzard spokesperson told Kotaku the company had nothing to do with the casters' decision. Blizzard has already set a precedent by removing World of Warcraft's references to longtime developer Alex Afrasiabi, the owner of the Cosby Suite and one of the people named in the lawsuit.

LeCraft is also one of the people who appeared in the photo. Kotaku's sources told them Cory Stockton, another developer in the photo, is on leave but still employed at Blizzard.

This is only the latest controversy to hit Activision Blizzard since the lawsuit. Last week, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stepped down, and it was discovered that T-Mobile had stopped sponsoring Call of Duty and Overwatch competitive leagues.

Permalink to story.

 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,848   +4,514
So once again you are guilty until proven innocent if "certain" people accuse you of various crimes. And people wonder why discomfort at having anything other then good old boys employed is growing by the day...

Regardless of the evidence, these accusations should be proven in court before action is taken. These lawsuits frequently fail or get shot down.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 148   +167
I couldn't possibly care less about the sexual harassment if the game(s) is/are great. You can leave if you are not satisfied with your workplace.
Other than that, is you do not provide LAN in an old remake like Diablo II Resurrected, how can you ask for my trust in buying a new game like Diablo IV, which will include a ton of MTX, skins and so on?
How can you ask for my money after destroying Warcraft III? I'm not preordering anything, and since Blizzard is now more preoccupied in begging for woke points, destroying LAN in Diablo II and "sexist" joke removal in WoW, instead of improving the game, well.. Eff that.
 

Shaitan

Posts: 148   +167
So once again you are guilty until proven innocent if "certain" people accuse you of various crimes. And people wonder why discomfort at having anything other then good old boys employed is growing by the day...

Regardless of the evidence, these accusations should be proven in court before action is taken. These lawsuits frequently fail or get shot down.
Exactly.
 

poohbear

Posts: 649   +557
So once again you are guilty until proven innocent if "certain" people accuse you of various crimes. And people wonder why discomfort at having anything other then good old boys employed is growing by the day...

Regardless of the evidence, these accusations should be proven in court before action is taken. These lawsuits frequently fail or get shot down.
A woman committed suicide over the work culture. Besides that, this was the bloody director of the latest installment of multi-billion dollar franchise, he wasn't let go on a "hunch"! There must've been some pretty damning evidence for them to make a decision like that.
 

nodfor

Posts: 119   +214
If a company underpays women it is an outrage and cause for a lawsuit.
If they outsource the **** out of their operations and underpay the contractors, it's business as usual.
 
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Bobbydpue

Posts: 232   +153
A woman committed suicide over the work culture. Besides that, this was the bloody director of the latest installment of multi-billion dollar franchise, he wasn't let go on a "hunch"! There must've been some pretty damning evidence for them to make a decision like that.
This is just like the OP said. There was zero evidence given in the article they were fired. The "sources" for the information didn't know why they left. Perhaps they left on their own due to their experience there. You're assuming you know what's going on based "on a hunch". Stop forming opinions based on speculation and rumors.
 

Bobbydpue

Posts: 232   +153
Ah yes the serial apologists will come out in force like clockwork. All just a beat up by women with nothing better to do. Poor old Epstein, Weinstein, Cosby, all are innocent.
Why is supporting due process a bad thing? What's wrong with objective data?