Three prominent Activision Blizzard developers have left the company in the wake of a bombshell sexual harassment lawsuit filed by California state.
Diablo IV game director Luis Barriga, Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree (who’s also the namesake for Overwatch’s cowboy hero), and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft are all gone from the company, Activision Blizzard has confirmed with GameSpot. The news was first reported by Kotaku.
The publication’s sources said Activision Blizzard didn’t specify why the three developers were ousted from their positions, and Activision Blizzard’s official statement offers no indication. However, these departures arrive after a lawsuit California filed against the gaming giant alleged that the company fostered a culture of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination.
“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.”
Jesse McCree is of particular mention, as he was one of many current and former developers seen in the now infamous “Cosby Suite” photo that made its rounds in late July. Jonathan LeCraft also appears in this photo, as does Blizzard lead game designer Cory Stockton. According to Kotaku, Stockton was placed on leave earlier this month but remains at Blizzard.
It’s unclear if McCree’s name will be removed from Overwatch, although Blizzard’s World of Warcraft team recently vowed to remove “not appropriate” references from its game.
Earlier this month, Activision Blizzard said employees regardless of position or tenure will be “held accountable” in the wake of the lawsuit, saying “decisive action” will be taken against those workers who impede on the company’s integrity.
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