It would seem that Blizzard is in a shambles at the moment. The victim of their own demise, due to a few bad apples in the company, who, sadly, were people at the helm of some amazing games. Just goes to show, that you never know what happens behind the scenes.
We play the games, praise the developers and studios, and yet we don’t know what happens just underneath the surface of the places where our favourite games are brought to life. It’s sad really that in this day and age, the world is still plagued by this type of behaviour.
As most of you know by now, Activision Blizzard is embroiled in a major lawsuit, with employees, and mainly female employees, rightfully suing the company for fostering a hostile and toxic work environment, where sexual harassment and discrimination is or was rampant. You can read all about the sordid details here.
And some of the evidence that came from various social media sources is damning.
In the wake of the mayhem Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft were let go from Blizzard on Wednesday.
The news was delivered to development teams today, but not yet officially announced, although a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard confirmed the departures via Email, but gave no reasons:
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” they wrote.
“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.”
Well, the whole world knows what those reasons are.
Jesse McCree, who has a Overwatch character named after him, and most recently a designer on Diablo 4, was one of several current and former employees who appeared in an image of a BlizzCon 2013 “Cosby Suite”. The suite evidently belonged to World of Warcraft developer, Alex Afrasiabi.
Afrasiabi is one of the few people called out by name in the California lawsuit, and stands accused of sexually harassing and groping female co-workers. Evidently all Afrisiabi related references were removed from World of Warcraft.
Jonathan LeCraft and Cory Stockton, who is a lead game designer at Blizzard, were also pictured in the suite. Stockton was put on leave, but evidently is still an employee.
Luis Barriga, has been with Blizzard since 2006, and as a game director has been an integral part of Diablo 4 since it was revealed. The game is still deep in development and doesn’t have a release date yet. Veteran game developer Rod Fergusson announced last year that he was leaving Microsoft and Gear 5 studio, The Coalition, to oversee the Diablo franchise at Blizzard.
Well, good riddance. Sad, but it had to happen, and rightfully so.
There should be zero tolerance for this type of nonsense in any company.
Last Updated: August 12, 2021