Diablo 4: Luis Barriga was fired after the alleged harassment cases at Blizzard Entertainment came to light. Activision Blizzard’s problems have worsened in recent months. The company has been denounced by the State of California for alleged cases of sexual abuse and workplace harassment. Faced with this situation, partially recognized by Blizzard Entertainment, the North American company decided to dispense with the services of Luis Barriga and Jesse McCree, director and lead designer of Diablo IV, respectively. Now, through an official statement, the appointment of Joe Shely as the new director has been confirmed.
It was Shely himself who broke the news. “As the lead designer who has worked on this open-world RPG (…) from the beginning, I am honored to continue the vision of Diablo IV as its new director.” And he adds: “Like many of you, the team has been reflecting on recent events.” He refers, of course, to the problems within the studio.
Development continues despite recent events
“A lot has happened since our last blog entry and the hard work of upholding the values we aspire to must continue. In parallel with that important work, the development of Diablo IV continues as well. They have built a robust team in recent years, which with the help of fans, have “refined and deepened” the playable formula. “Although much has changed, our commitment to the game remains.”
For Shely, doing justice to this world is a responsibility. Taking advantage of this announcement, he has dedicated the entrance to sound, an aspect that, he comments, is sometimes not fully recognized as it should be. However, “it is an integral element of game design”, since it serves to channel the communication of many systems, such as the damage received or the moment in which the combat intensifies.
Diablo IV is in development for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC. It does not have a release date yet.