Blizzard fires three top designers in wake of sexual harassment scandal – including Jesse McCree
Three top designers from Blizzard have been let go in the wake of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit.
Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft are all no longer working for the company.
The news was confirmed by Kotaku with a statement from an Activision Blizzard spokesperson.
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” it reads.
“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.”
It’s not clear specifically why these three have been dismissed, though the sexual harassment lawsuit against the company is likely a key reason.
For McCree at least, he is one of the employees associated with the infamous “Cosby Suite” that was seen as the epicentre of the company’s “frat boy” culture.
The Overwatch cowboy character Jesse McCree was named after the designer and, following news of the lawsuit, fans are demanding the name be changed.
News of the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is ongoing.
Shareholders have written an open letter demanding changes be made within the company, as corporations remove sponsorship from the Overwatch League.
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The letter, as shared by Axios, notes that no changes have been made to change the process for filling vacancies either to the board of directors or to senior management, nor with respect to executive pay in “clawing back” compensation from execs found to have engaged in abusive behaviour.
It also notes that the law firm Wilmer Hale is “deficient” in investigating company practices.
Activision Blizzard shareholder/investment group SOC released a letter today demanding changes following management's "inadequate response" to the company's ongoing culture problems https://t.co/R0rmImcISB pic.twitter.com/NeeTGiPLo4
— Megan Farokhmanesh (@Megan_Nicolett) August 10, 2021
As such, shareholders are requesting greater board diversity, a retraction of bonuses from abusers, and for Activision Blizzard to undertake a company-wide Equity Review.