Three More High-Profile Departures Hit Activision Blizzard During Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. “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.”
At the beginning of August, J. Allen Brack (the former Blizzard Entertainment president) resigned from the company. Former senior people officer for Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard Jesse Meschuk also left the company around the beginning of the month.
All of this news comes after the sexual harassment lawsuit made against Activision Blizzard on July 22 by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. This also comes after employees staged a walkout in response to the publisher’s initial statement about the allegations. The publisher has since called their initial response “tone-deaf.”
Barriga had been with Blizzard since 2005 and has worked on both World of Warcraft and Diablo. He was also working as the director of Diablo 4. Meanwhile, McCree (who Overwatch fans may recognize because of the game character, McCree) had also been with Blizzard since 2005, working as a designer.
McCree was one of the employees seen in photos of the disturbingly named “Cosby Suite,” which Kotaku reported on a couple of weeks ago. According to Kotaku, LeCraft was also pictured in the suite as well.
In their updated story on these three departures, Kotaku wrote:
The suite contained booze and a giant portrait of Bill Cosby and reportedly belonged to World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi.
Afrasiabi is one of the few people called out by name in California’s lawsuit, which accuses him of sexually harassing and groping female coworkers. Bloomberg reported that the nickname for the suite began as a joke about ugly carpeting and predated the sexual assault allegations about Bill Cosby becoming widely publicized, though some Blizzard sources have disputed that origin story. Two former Blizzard employees told Kotaku that the suite’s reputation had always been menacing because of Afrasiabi’s behavior. Afrasiabi-related references have since been removed from World of Warcraft, though there’s no word yet on whether or not Overwatch and its gunslinger will see any changes in light of the latest news.
Jonathan LeCraft and Cory Stockton, currently a lead game designer at Blizzard, were also pictured in the suite. Two sources confirmed to Kotaku that Stockton was put on leave last week but appears to remain with the company.
Overwatch fans have called for the name change of the game character.
A chat log in the article makes it really gross that Overwatch character Jesse McCree was named after a real life, longtime developer at Blizzard. pic.twitter.com/KWzkxNrpL9
— Overbuff (@Overbuff) July 28, 2021
(Image: Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
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