Diablo IV director and two other developers were let go
According to a new report, Diablo IV game director Luis Barriga, Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft have been let go. Kotaku reports that the news was delivered to the development teams today.
A source told Kotaku that the developers’ names are no longer visible in the internal directory at Blizzard. A source at Blizzard also tells IGN that their names have been removed from the company Slack channel. IGN’s source also says that while development teams were reportedly informed of the departures, there has been no internal communication on the matter within Activision Blizzard.
We’ve reached out to Activision Blizzard for confirmation on the departure of these three.
[Update: Activision Blizzard PR has confirmed the departures to Destructoid, saying that 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,” said an Activision Blizzard spokesperson. “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 been with Blizzard for some time, working on previous games like Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. McCree was linked to the recent Kotaku report on the “Cosby Suite,” as part of the ongoing reporting and investigation into the culture at Activision Blizzard. This stems from the lawsuit filed last month by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleging discrimination and a toxic workplace culture at the company.
LeCraft was also pictured in the report on the aforementioned suite. Kotaku says two sources have confirmed to them that another Blizzard dev pictured there, Cory Stockton, was put on leave last week but appears to remain at the company.
Activision Blizzard employees have since signed a letter decrying the initial response from the company’s leadership, as well as organized a walkout and formed a coalition across Activision, Blizzard, King, and other studios.
The employees have made several demands for change, including an end to forced arbitration, and workers at Ubisoft have backed them with their own joint letter. An investment group and shareholder in Activision Blizzard also recently criticized the company’s response, laying out its own demands for change at the company.