On Wednesday, Blizzard confirmed reports about three major staffers on its game-design teams no longer working for the company. This is yet another example of the tumult that has recently overtaken the lawsuit-plagued game publisher and creator.
In a statement provided by Blizzard to Ars Technica, the studio confirmed that the following staffers are no longer working for the company: Luis Barriga, who’d served as director of the upcoming sequel Diablo IV; Jesse McCree, a Diablo IV designer who is also the namesake of an Overwatch character; and Jonathan LeCraft, a designer on the World of Warcraft team. Blizzard’s exact statement says that the three men in question are “no longer with the company,” without clarifying the nature of the change in employment (layoff, termination, resignation, etc.) or whether all three staffers parted ways at the same time.
McCree and LeCraft entered the limelight in the wake of last month’s widespread lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard by a California state agency. Their faces appeared prominently in a series of photos, originally revealed and reported on by Kotaku, about the contentious “Cosby Suite,” a makeshift shrine to Bill Cosby that appeared in the July lawsuit. The lawsuit suggested that the “Suite,” adorned with a painting of Bill Cosby, was part of extracurricular parties connected to Blizzard’s 2013 BlizzCon fan expo. The suite’s name is arguably a reference to Cosby’s notorious public reputation at the time.