Blizzard apparently ousted three more key devs, including Diablo IV’s game director

    
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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 MorhaimeChris MetzenJeff KaplanBen BrodeDustin BrowderOmar GonzalezDave KosakKevin DongMichael ChuDavid KimEric BraddockGlenn RaneBrandy CamelTim MortenRay GreskoFrank 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.

Further reading:

Source: Kotaku. Cheers, Angel.
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mars omg

This really feels more of a take over by Activision. I know the allegations are very serious but it would seem Activision is now leveraged those employee allegations as a weapon to consolidate the 2 companies.

Stefan
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Stefan

In more Diablo related news, the remastered version will no longer support Lan, out of security reasons apparently.

Also apparently jesse had 5 other NPCs named after him in WoW, is that a sign of too much ego or people lacking ideas to come up with names?

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Schmidt.Capela

In more Diablo related news, the remastered version will no longer support Lan, out of security reasons apparently.

Which makes it even less likely I will get it, or at least not unless Blizzard re-adds that feature.

Though it would be very unlikely for me to purchase it anyway. Plenty other Diablo-style action-RPGs out there, many of which are closer to what I find fun than D2 was.

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Dankey Kang

Most likely a result of the sheer number of NPCs in the game. A quick google search returned 2 NPCs with my surname.

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Bruno Brito

How many Kangs can there be? :D

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Dankey Kang
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Bruno Brito

That is the only one i recall :D

Stefan
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Stefan

That is a fair point, read elsewhere that there 5 named after him found that a bit excessive.

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Bruno Brito

Ah, yes. “Security reasons”.

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Bryan Correll

Of course it’s for security! Not the player’s security, but…

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Armsman

“security reasons”? Please give me a break. Everything with Diablo and Blizzard these days is turning into a real clown show.

I guess it doesn’t matter to me as I don’t plan on giving blizzard any of my money in any way whatsoever going forward while Bobby Kotick is in charge, as well as them making some major changes in their corporate culture and showing that these changes are both positive for all employees.
^^^
Of course going by what we’ve seen over the past few weeks I’d say there’s a better chance of hell freezing over before any of the above actually happens at Blizzard.

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Bruno Brito

It has nothing to do with security. They probably just want to force you to log into Bnet even if it’s to play a singleplay game, or a lan room with your friends.

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Armsman

It has nothing to do with security. They probably just want to force you to log into Bnet even if it’s to play a singleplay game, or a lan room with your friends.

Question how can you play the game in a Lan room, beyond the single player aspect of the game itself, when they outright state it won’t support Lan connectivity?

If you’re going to do that you might as well just play at home and communicate with friends over discord or teamspeak.

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Dankey Kang

Bobby: “it’s been a tough year sacking people and covering up all these scandals”
“Think I’ll give myself a little bonus”

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Tuor of Gondolin

That distant *boom* sound you just heard is B-A blowing itself up.

Too little, too late.

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Darthbawl

Talk about taking out some trash ROFL. Sadly it sounds like they need a bigger dumpster.

And remember to set said dumpster on fire to truly eradicate what got tossed into it.

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IronSalamander8 .

This is like pre-nerf Fire Tankers in CoH with burn! just saw a bunch of mobs jumping in and you’re golden! XD

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Utakata

Lol! :)

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CommanderZoom

Ah yes, those were the days.
(Also when Smoke Grenade floored enemy accuracy and made you unhittable.)

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Yup

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David Goodman

If there’s anything this teaches – or should teach us – is that it was the old Blizzard guard that was the problem in the first place. Though those of us who are ancient enough to remember the EverQuest-era have known Alex Afrasiabi has always been human garbage, and lamented when Blizzard hired him in the first place. Or at least I did.

This isn’t to say or imply that Activision is clean or pure – they’re still just as greedy and profiteering as every other AAA company – but that the so-called golden age of Blizzard was built on this toxic culture. Glad to see them cleaning house, even if it is a symbolic gesture to avoid bleeding revenue in front of the shareholders. (the only thing that actually moves a company to any kind of change.)

bels
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bels

I’m surprised that people in general, and journalists in particular, have not gone to the firesofheaven forums to check old posts. I did out of curiosity when the scandal started (and after some people reminded us, non-eq players, that the guild was a thing in Afrasiabi’s past). The amount of vile stuff one can find there in old posts, including posts about Afrasiabi’s background and his personal relations with other peeple from EQ, is absolutely crazy. I mention this because after reading the stuff in there, a comment like yours (“lamented when Blizzard hired him in the first place”) makes total sense.

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Immoral

Luis Barraga wasn’t directly implicated like the other two fired today for being in the “Cosby” suite. I really liked his vision for Diablo 4. In my naivety I wanted to believe the Diablo team was untouched by the recent scandals. :(

I just hope Blizzard doesn’t bring back Jay Wilson to replace him.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I’ll ask the same question I asked on the other thread. Are there any professional gaming organization that give out awards for diversity?

Which I see that Ark answered with a no.

These organizations and their awards are important because they increase visibility, inform prospective candidates and can increase pressure for more inclusive workplaces.

And, as a gamer, it would be nice to throw business at studios that are concerned with a healthy, diverse workplace. And, conversely, withhold from those studios not interested in it except once a year during mandated training.

Pointedly, by NOT having such an award, it shouts that issues of diversity and inclusion are of no interest to the industry.

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SmiteDoctor

I thought ANet had a reputation for being pretty woke.

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Bruno Brito

They do. They had issues with that, tho, but nothing on the level of Blizzard.

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Josh

Of all the MMOs I’ve played I feel like ESO does the best with representation.

Gay couples scattered throughout the game world and now with Blackwood a recurring Trans character.

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Bruno Brito

Both games are great. ESO does better on normalizing it. It’s really natural-like how the do it, and you just get used to it quickly.

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Josh

I remember first meeting Kasmeer and Marjorie in LWS2 (I missed season 1) and audibly going “wait they’re a couple? I love them”

Man I can’t wait to see where End of Dragons goes.

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Bruno Brito

They become a couple, yeah. I felt it was a bit forced because of how little time we had to see themselves develop but that was more related to Anet time constraints than anything. They’re way better than any crap that Blizzard tries to put out there.

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Bryan Correll

ESO really does it well. It’s always presented as simply a matter of fact. It’s just a world where LGBT+ people exist and go about their business like everyone else.

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Ardra Diva

Diversity needs a real, tangible value beyond the feelgood word itself.

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Bruno Brito

There are tangible values tho. Better work enviroment, better creative direction. The more people from all walks of life have input on your direction, the more information you have to make things better. It doesn’t solve all the issues, but it’s a great starting point.

A good example is just seeing how Nathanos and Sylvanas didn’t hold a single pen against the likes of Kasmeer and Marjorie in GW2. Characters like Lyris Titanborn, Abnur Tharn, Razumdar and others in ESO are also better than anything Blizzard have been doing these days. Canach and Countess Anissa are others i can put on that podium.

Speaking anedoctaly, as an artist, the more diverse the cast of characters i have, the better characterization becomes, and the stories write themselves in a way more interesting way. Having only one pov ends up hurting your capacity as a storyteller.

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Josh

Whenever I encounter Abnur Tharn I think to myself “This is who Blizzard wishes Nathanos was”.

God I love that cranky old bastard

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Bruno Brito

“It’s a simple process, even a child of five can do it.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a child of five, so i’m forced to walk you through it.”

H o l y s h i t

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Arktouros

Oh no I guess ol Bobby will just have to replace more of these long standing Blizzard folks with some Activision people to give the company more stability.

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SmiteDoctor

You can say what you want about Activision but at least they release games regularly, and they’re not buggy pieces of shit.

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Bruno Brito

they’re not buggy pieces of shit.

You must have not have played the last WoW patches.

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SmiteDoctor

I said Activision not Blizzard.

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Arktouros

Not going to be any difference when this is all over :)

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Bruno Brito

HAH!

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Bruno Brito

What’s the difference, Doc.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

And then there were none