Is Diablo 4 in trouble? D4 game director, lead designer leave Blizzard

A scathing discrimination lawsuit has set Blizzard aflame, and Diablo 4's development could burn as key talent leave the studio.

Published Thu, Aug 12 2021 12:27 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Sep 13 2021 7:11 PM CDT

Two of Diablo 4's key creative forces have left Blizzard, the publisher officially confirms to Kotaku.

Is Diablo 4 in trouble? D4 game director, lead designer leave Blizzard 85 |

Activision-Blizzard is currently behind the crosshair of two major legal battles: The billion-dollar company is being sued for sexual harassment and discrimination by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and law firms have also filed a class-action securities fraud lawsuit against the games giant.

The ongoing controversy is affecting development of key Blizzard games, including Diablo 4. Talent is leaving the studio and seeking other opportunities, including Diablo 4's game director Luis Barriga and lead designer Jesse McCree.

While Blizzard promises Diablo 4's development is progressing smoothly, this shift in creative forces could interrupt key aspects of the game's planning. Right now Diablo 4's overall scope is in flux and Blizzard is trying to do a lot of things at once.

Blizzard is simultaneously developing Diablo 4's console and PC versions at the same time, trying out lots of new game mechanics (of which are detailed in length in quarterly updates), and also laying out the live service roadmap for years to come. This is very hard work in the best of times, and it's made even harder when employees have to work from home.

Things get even more complicated with the project loses its director.

Meanwhile, the publisher has high confidence in Diablo 4 and remains optimistic about the project...even if there's no release date planned. Diablo 2 Resurrected is set to launch next month, and the free-to-play Diablo Immortal mobile game has been delayed to 2022.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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