The lawsuit that accuses Blizzard Entertainment of creating a toxic work culture of sexism and sexual harassment has claimed three more victims. Luis Barriga, the director of Diablo IV (clike here to buy Dialo 4 Gold), Jesse McCrea, the lead level designer of Diablo IV, and Jonathan LeCraft, a senior game designer on World of Warcraft, have resigned from the company, according to Activision Blizzard.
These three veteran developers join the list of former Blizzard executives who have left the company in the wake of the lawsuit, including former president J. Allen Brack and former creative director Alex Afrasiabi. The lawsuit, filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), alleges that Blizzard fostered a “frat boy culture” that allowed gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment to thrive.
Barriga had been with Blizzard since 2005 and was responsible for overseeing the development of Diablo IV, the highly anticipated sequel to the action RPG series. McCrea had also been with Blizzard since 2005 and had worked on various Diablo and Warcraft games. He was one of the developers who shared his name with a character in Overwatch, the cowboy hero McCree.
LeCraft had been with Blizzard for over a decade and was known for his work on World of Warcraft’s raid designs.
No official reason has been given for their departures, but they come amid growing criticism and backlash from fans and employees over Blizzard’s handling of the lawsuit and its internal issues. According to Kotaku, McCrea was allegedly aware of the infamous “Cosby suite” that was mentioned in the lawsuit. The “Cosby suite” was a hotel room where Afrasiabi and other male developers allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with female employees. The room was reportedly named after Bill Cosby, who was convicted of sexual assault before having his conviction overturned. McCrea appeared in a photo of several developers posing with a portrait of Cosby in the hotel room.
Barriga and LeCraft were not named or implicated in the lawsuit.
The departures of these three developers are likely to have a significant impact on Blizzard’s games, especially Diablo IV. The game is seen as an important title for Blizzard, which has seen declining player numbers across its existing games in recent years. With Barriga and McCrea gone, it is unclear how this will affect the development and release of Diablo IV.
Blizzard has tried to reassure its fans that it has a “deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate”. The company also said that it is “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”.
However, some fans and critics remain skeptical about Blizzard’s ability to address the issues raised by the lawsuit and create a more inclusive and respectful culture. Many have called for more accountability and transparency from the company’s leadership and demanded concrete actions to prevent further harassment and abuse.