Activision Blizzard has revealed that three senior developers are no longer employed by the company: Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft. Following reporting from Kotaku, the outlet was provided with a statement from the publisher confirming the departures. It is unclear whether or not the three employees were terminated, or if these departures have any connection to the recent allegations that have been made against the company. Barriga was the game director on Diablo 4, which is still in development. McCree, meanwhile is the namesake of the Overwatch hero, so it’s possible his departure could result in an in-game change.
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” an Activision Blizzard representative said in a statement to Kotaku. “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.”
Over the last few weeks, Activision Blizzard has seen allegations of sexism, harassment, discrimination, and “frat boy” behavior. This has now resulted in a lawsuit from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, as well as a class action suit filed by investors, which claims Activision Blizzard failed to disclose California’s investigation into the company. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick initially called California’s lawsuit “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.” However, Kotick walked back that statement last month, calling it “tone deaf” in a letter to employees and the public.
In that same letter, Kotick outlined specific plans for Activision Blizzard, including personnel changes. Barriga, McCree, and LeCraft, are the latest changes to the company, following the recent departure of Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack.
In addition to personnel changes, Kotick’s letter also stated that in-game changes would be made. References to former World of Warcraft senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi have been removed from the game, following his naming in the lawsuit from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. At this time, it’s unclear whether fans of other Activision Blizzard games should expect to see more, particularly in Overwatch.