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News video games 12 August 2021, 11:07

author: Adrian Werner

Diablo 4's Lead Level Designer Fired by Activision

Activision has fired three experienced developers from Blizzard Entertainment, including the director of Diablo IV and the game's lead level designer. This is most likely related to the recent high-profile harassment and bullying scandal within the publisher's teams.

Fired developers:
  1. Luis Barriga (Diablo IV director),
  2. Jesse McCree (Diablo IV lead level designer),
  3. Jonathan LeCraft (World of Warcraft senior designer).

The scandal at Activision Blizzard continues to take its toll. As Kotaku has learned, the publisher has fired three experienced developers working at Blizzard Entertainment. Luis Barriga, i.e. the director of Diablo IV.

Also dismissed were Jesse McCree, the game's lead level designer, and Jonathan LeCraft, who was a senior designer for World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard assures that there are many talented developers in Blizzard Entertainment who will easily take over the duties of these three, so it will not negatively affect the work on both games.

Diablo 4s Lead Level Designer Fired by Activision - picture #1
Blizzard employees took photos of themselves with a portrait of Bill Cosby during BlizzCon 2013. Source: Kotaku.

The publisher didn't give a reason for the layoffs, but it almost certainly involves the recent high-profile sexual harassment and mobbing scandal. Both problems were said to be so prevalent at the company that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard after a two-year investigation.

Jesse McCree and Jonathan LeCraft were in the now-infamous photo taken inside the so-called Bill Cosby Suite, which is Alex Afrasiabi's (who is mentioned by name in the aforementioned lawsuit) hotel room from back in the days of BlizzCon 2013. The place featured a ton of alcohol and a photo of the comedian, who was already publicly accused of rape at that point. The developers explain that the name came from a joke making fun of the nasty carpet, but many people are not convinced by this explanation.

It is worth noting that the aforementioned photo also includes another developer from the team dealing with World of Warcraft - Cory Stockton. He has not been fired as of yet, but the publisher sent him on forced leave last week.

  1. Activision Blizzard Accused of Sexual Harassment and Mobbing
  2. Diablo 4 - official website

Adrian Werner

Adrian Werner

A true veteran of the Gamepressure newsroom, writing continuously since 2009 and still not having enough. He caught the gaming bug thanks to playing on his friend's ZX Spectrum. Then he switched to his own Commodore 64, and after a short adventure with 16-bit consoles, he forever entrusted his heart to PC games. A fan of niche productions, especially adventure games, RPGs and games of the immersive sim genre, as well as a mod enthusiast. Apart from games, he devourers stories in every form - books, series, movies, and comics.