Diablo 4 Game Director Luis Barriga, Lead Designer Jesse McCree and World of Warcraft Designer Jonathan LeCraft was fired from Blizzard on Wednesday. told two sources with knowledge of the move Kotaku.
The news was delivered to the development teams today but has not yet been officially announced. A source confirmed Kotaku that the names of the three developers are no longer visible in the internal directory of Blizzard or Slack. Activision Blizzard did not immediately return a request for comment.
[Update – 8/11/21 6:20 p.m. ET]: A spokesman for Activision Blizzard confirmed the departures in an email. “We can confirm that Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” they wrote.
“We already have a large, talented roster of developers and new leaders have been assigned where necessary. We are confident that we will continue to progress, provide amazing experiences to our players, and move forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for everyone. “
A source who learned the news said Activision Blizzard didn’t give a reason for the departures, but they are coming as the company expects a lawsuit in California Alleged widespread sexual harassment and discrimination In the Overwatch
Jesse McCree, the namesake for Overwatch‘s beloved cowboy fighter and most recently a designer Diablo 4, was one of several current and former Blizzard developers who appeared in an image of a BlizzCon 2013 “Cosby Suite”. received from Kotaku
Afrasiabi is one of the few people named in California’s lawsuit accusing him of sexually molesting and fondling female employees. Bloomberg reported that the nickname for the suite started as a joke about ugly carpets and was published prior to the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, although some Blizzard sources have denied that origin story. Two former Blizzard employees told the story Kotaku that the suite’s reputation had always been threatening because of Afrasiabi’s behavior. Afrasiabi-related references have been made since then away from World of Warcraft, although there is still no word on whether or not Overwatch and his gunslinger will see changes in the face of the latest news.
Jonathan LeCraft and Cory Stockton, currently Senior Game Designer at Blizzard, were also pictured in the suite. Two sources confirmed Kotaku that Stockton was on leave last week but appears to be staying with the company.
Luis Barriga has been with Blizzard since 2006 and was one of the faces of as Game Director Diablo 4 since it was first revealed. The game is still deeply in development and has no release date yet. Last year veteran game developer Rod Fergusson announced that he was left Microsoft and Course 5 studio The coalition Join Blizzard and oversee it all Diablo Franchise.
Additional reporting from Patricia Hernandez