Luis Barriga, director of Diablo IV, Jesse McCree, lead designer, and Jonathan LeCraft, designer for World of Warcraft, are no longer employed at Activision Blizzard. The three men were let go from the company on Wednesday, according to a report by Kotaku. Blizzard later confirmed their ousting, saying the company was moving “forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for all.” Their departure comes amidst a harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.
As reported earlier by Kotaku, McCree and LeCraft were identified together in a picture obtained by the publication while in the “Cosby Suite.” The room was apparently used by former senior creative director of WoW, Alex Afrasiabi. It was reported that the suite was loaded with alcohol, and served as a place for Blizzard members to gather.
McCree, LeCraft, and Barriga are not the first to leave Activision Blizzard in recent times. The aforementioned Afrasiabi left the company initially under mysterious circumstances in the middle of last year. However, it was later confirmed by the company that he was indeed fired. Earlier in the month, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack announced his departure, leaving Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal as co-leaders of the Diablo developer.
What to do with a cowboy and Diablo IV
The departures of both Barriga and McCree have put a couple Activision Blizzard games in interesting positions. Diablo IV is still under development, and it’s unknown just how much the loss of its director will alter things. McCree, however, is a name that should sound familiar to Overwatch players. The cowboy hero was named after the former developer, and it’s possible the company may consider making changes. In a letter apologizing for the company’s “tone deaf” initial response, CEO Bobby Kotick wrote that “inappropriate” in-game content would be removed. Following the letter, references to Afrasiabi began to disappear from WoW (Cheers, Wowhead). A name change may happen to McCree, unless the Overwatch team decides it’s time to hang up his hat for good.