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Under scrutiny for alleged sexist behavior and human resources violations, Activision Blizzard’s Blizzard Entertainment division confirmed more departures among its leadership on the high-profile Diablo 4 game team.
The departures on Wednesday come eight days after the resignation of Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, and three weeks after the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, alleging a “frat boy” culture where women were routinely harassed or paid poorly compared to male counterparts.
After the lawsuit prompted many more women to come forward with their stories of harassment, the company issued an apology and CEO Bobby Kotick pledged zero tolerance for anyone who violated company policies or failed to follow proper processes in response to complaints that were filed. The bulk of the allegations center on the Blizzard division, with many of them going back years.
Previously, Activision Blizzard confirmed that Alex Afrasiabi, the former creative director on World of Warcraft, was fired in 2020. On social media, numerous complaints pointed at Afrasiabi, who was the only leader called out by name for inappropriate behavior in the state’s lawsuit. Others on social media called out former chief technology officer Ben Kilgore, who left in 2018. Blizzard confirmed that Kilgore was no longer at the company but did not go so far as to say he was fired.
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“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” said a spokesman in a statement. “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.”
Barriga was the game director for Diablo 4 — a critical position in a game’s hierarchy of leadership — while McCree was lead game designer. LeCraft was a designer on World of Warcraft.
Diablo 4 is one of the most important projects underway at Blizzard, which has seen a steady decline in users as its Overwatch and World of Warcraft have declined in recent periods.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Electronic Arts confirmed that Apex Legends lead game designer Daniel Klein is no longer at the company after evidence of racist and sexist comments surfaced on social media. Kotaku reported the stories about the Diablo 4 departures and the Klein matter.
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