Blizzard president J. Allen Brack has stepped down, shortly after the broader Activision Blizzard was served with a lawsuit alleging widespread discrimination and harassment on the firm.
Introduced on the Blizzard web site, Brack shall be changed by ‘co-leaders’ Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra. Oneal joined Blizzard in January, having beforehand headed Vicarious Visions. Ybarra joined Blizzard from Xbox in 2019. As comparatively current additions to Blizzard management, it might be that each Oneal and Ybarra are seen as extra indifferent from the stories of long-standing points within the firm’s working practices.
Brack’s departure comes amid a massively turbulent two weeks for Activision Blizzard, after a lawsuit led to open letters, an worker walkout, and public outcry over the corporate’s tradition. An Activision investor press launch stated that Brack is “leaving the corporate to pursue new alternatives.”
Brack wrote: “I’m assured that Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra will present the management Blizzard wants to appreciate its full potential and can speed up the tempo of change. I anticipate they are going to accomplish that with ardour and enthusiasm and that they are often trusted to guide with the very best ranges of integrity and dedication to the elements of our tradition that make Blizzard so particular.”
Brack had beforehand emailed staff on the firm, calling the reported behaviour included within the lawsuit “utterly unacceptable”, and pledging to debate methods to transfer ahead with Blizzard staff. “I really feel offended, unhappy, and a bunch of different feelings,” he wrote on the time, “however I additionally really feel grateful to work alongside a set of leaders and hundreds of staff who be a part of me of their dedication to steady enchancment. Thanks Blizzard.”
Brack himself was talked about within the lawsuit, having reportedly solely given “a slap on the wrist” to ex-creative director Alex Afrasiabi, regardless of having obtained complaints about constant sexual misconduct on the firm. The ex-president had additionally seen renewed criticism for a video from BlizzCon 2010 that confirmed Brack and Afrasiabi laughing at a fan’s query as as to if new feminine characters in World of Warcraft is perhaps much less sexualised.
On a wider stage, this marks yet one more high-profile departure from Blizzard, after a expertise drain that has left the corporate at a crossroads. Brack was appointed president of Blizzard in 2018, after main the World of Warcraft workforce.