Diablo IV game director Luis Barriga and its lead level designer Jesse McCree, as well as World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft, have left the video game company, reports Kotaku. The publication noted that development teams had been notified of the changes early Wednesday (August 11).
“We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate,” the gaming giant added. “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.”
The company did not provide an official reason for their departures.
Barriga had been with Blizzard since 2006, working on several World Of Warcraft expansions, before becoming game director for Diablo IV.
On the other hand, LeCraft had worked for Blizzard since 2005, and mainly served as a game designer on the World Of Warcraft franchise since 2007’s The Burning Crusade.
Meanwhile, McCree had been a lead level designer at Blizzard, working on Diablo IV, Diablo III, World Of Warcraft and other games. McCree, who had been employed by Blizzard since 2005, is also allegedly the namesake of Overwatch character Jesse McCree.
However, his involvement in the so-called “Cosby Suite” – a nickname for an incident during BlizzCon 2013 at which several Blizzard developers reportedly posed with a portrait of previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby – has resulted in calls from Overwatch fans to have the character’s name changed.
The departures of Barriga, McCree and LeCraft are the latest in a string of high-profile departures from Blizzard Entertainment as the company reckons with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment in the workplace.
Following the lawsuit, Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack stepped down from his role. He will be replaced by a leadership team of Jen Oneal (executive vice president of development) and Mike Ybarra (executive vice president).
Brack’s departure was shortly followed by Jesse Meschuk, Blizzard’s senior vice president of HR, also leaving the company.