Three senior Activision Blizzard employees have been dismissed from Blizzard including Diablo 4‘s director, its lead designer and a designer on World of Warcraft.
As reported by Kotaku, Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree and Jonathan LeCraft, respectively, were all let go from the company on Wednesday evening. Though no official reason has been given for the departures, they come as the company is in the midst of a California lawsuit alleging widespread harassment at Activision Blizzard.
A statement from Activision Blizzard to Kotaku confirmed the departures via email. “We can confirm 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,” they said. “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.”
McCree and LeCraft both appeared in a photo from Blizzcon 2013 that was part of an extensive report by Kotaku showing several Blizzard employees in a room said to be dubbed “the Cosby Suite” reportedly belonging to Alex Afrasiabi. Afasiabi was one of the named parties in the lawsuit accused of sexually harassing and groping female co-workers. McCree meanwhile is also the inspiration behind the name of the Overwatch character, which has resulted in calls for the hero to be renamed by that game’s community over the allegations of his namesake’s association. (References to Afasiabi himself were removed from World of Warcraft following the publishing of the report.)
Last week, company president J. Allen Brack stepped down from his position at Blizzard Entertainment. There’s no word yet on how, if at all, these departures will affect Diablo 4 development.