Kotaku is reporting that Blizzard has parted way with several more high-profile developers this week: Luis Barriga was game director on Diablo IV, while Jonathan LeCraft and Jesse McCree were designers on World of Warcraft.
“We can confirm Luis Barriga, Jesse McCree, and Jonathan LeCraft are no longer with the company,” a Blizzard rep told Kotaku. “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.”
While Blizzard didn’t expressly say why the three were leaving the company, it seems pretty obvious that it has something to do with that lawsuit that’s been the biggest news in gaming for the last three weeks and the company’s promise to effectively root out middle-managers who facilitated the “frat boy culture” described therein. Jonathan LeCraft and Jesse McCree were both pictured in photos of the “Cosby suite” referred to in the lawsuit; another dev in the photos, Cory Stockton, apparently still remains with the company. It’s not yet clear whether Blizzard will excise McCree’s name from the Overwatch character who bears it.
Blizzard has already lost an absurd list of big-name developers over the last few years for various reasons, including Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Jeff Kaplan, Ben Brode, Dustin Browder, Omar Gonzalez, Dave Kosak, Kevin Dong, Michael Chu, David Kim, Eric Braddock, Glenn Rane, Brandy Camel, Tim Morten, Ray Gresko, Frank Pearce, Chris Sigaty, and of course, Alex Afrasiabi, who himself was removed for lawsuit-inducing behavior last year. The most notable departure is only a week old, as J. Allen Brack was toppled from his spot at the top of the company.