Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, pictured in photos of the “Cosby Suite” with Alex Afrasiabi, has been let go by Activision Blizzard alongside two other people. The report, originally published by Kotaku on Wednesday, said that Diablo 4 director Luis Barriga and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft were also let go.
Activision Blizzard is currently being sued by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing for fostering a “frat boy” culture where women were repeatedly harassed and discriminated against. McCree, while not named in the lawsuit, did allegedly engage in inappropriate behavior alongside Afrasiabi, who is named in the lawsuit.
McCree is the namesake for the Overwatch gunslinger McCree, a popular DPS character. Since news of McCree’s behavior has come to light, Overwatch League casters Brennon ‘Bren’ Hook and Josh ‘Sideshow’ Wilkinson have avoided saying the character’s name on broadcast. Overwatch community members hope that Activision Blizzard will rename the character at some point.
California is suing Activision Blizzard
After the lawsuit was filed on July 20, Activision Blizzard executives called it “inaccurate” and “disappointing,” before apologizing for their initial response. Employees held a walkout on July 28 to protest that response and demand change within the company. Kotick and other executives have not responded to organizers demands at the time of this writing.
McCree’s departure follows that of former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack who stepped down on August 3. Former Vicarious Visions studio head Jen Oneal and former executive vice president and general manager of platform and technology Mike Ybarra are replacing him as co-leaders. Activision Blizzard employee organizers have said that the change in leadership does not meet any of the demands they’ve been advocating for.
Activision Blizzard did not respond to our request for comment by the time of publication.