To say that Blizzard Entertainment has been in legal hot water for the past week will be an understatement. News around the company erupted when the US state of California sued the company over its hostile work environment. Now, the company has announced a change in leadership.
According to the announcement, J. Allen Brack will be leaving the company “to pursue new opportunities”. In his place, Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra have both been elected as co-leaders of the company. The former was once the lead at Vicarious Visions, and the latter spent 7 years as an Xbox senior executive.
The announcement makes it sound like J. Allen Brack left of his own accord. But if you’ve paid attention to Blizzard Entertainment ever since co-founder Mike Morhaime left, you’d wonder if that’s really the case. Things have been a roller coaster ever since Brack took over.
First there’s the announcement of Diablo Immortal, which may not be his decision since it happened so soon. It’s much the same story with Warcraft III: Reforged, which launched as a disaster. The company also axed the Heroes of the Storm MOBA, and its pro scene without notice. And then there’s the whole situation with Hong Kong Hearthstone player “blitzchung”, and the poor effort apology that followed a week after, and then during that year’s BlizCon. The latest California lawsuit was probably the last nail in the proverbial coffin.
At any rate, Blizzard’s fate as part of the Activision Blizzard company will probably not be affected much. It’s just that, as the company moves forward with the lawsuit, it will do so with different people at the helm.