What you need to know
- J. Allen Brack joined Blizzard Entertainment back in 2006.
- Brack worked on World of Warcraft as executive producer before becoming president of Blizzard in 2019.
- Brack is leaving Blizzard, as confirmed by a statement from the company.
- This comes amidst an ongoing lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging sexist workplace behavior.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack is leaving Activision Blizzard, per a statement from the company on Tuesday. Former Xbox executive Mike Ybarra and head of Vicarious Visions Jen Oneal will co-lead Blizzard Entertainment from now on. This comes as Activision Blizzard is facing an ongoing lawsuit from the State of California, alleging the company has a culture of sexist workplace behavior, history of abuse and more.
"Both leaders are deeply committed to all of our employees; to the work ahead to ensure Blizzard is the safest, most welcoming workplace possible for women, and people of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or background; to upholding and reinforcing our values; and to rebuilding your trust," the statement reads. "With their many years of industry experience and deep commitment to integrity and inclusivity, Jen and Mike will lead Blizzard with care, compassion, and a dedication to excellence. You'll hear more from Jen and Mike soon."
Mike Ybarra worked for almost 20 years at Microsoft before joining Activision Blizzard, working as Corporate Vice President of gaming from January 2017 to November 2019. Jen Oneal is the former head of Vicarious Visions, a studio previously under the Activision wing of the company before it was placed under Blizzard Entertainment earlier this year. Vicarious Visions is currently working on a remaster of Diablo 2, while the rest of Blizzard is working on other titles like Diablo 4.
Brack was one of the names mentioned in the initial lawsuit. Shortly after, a video began to circulate on social media of a World of Warcraft panel from 2010 that Brack was part of. In the panel, a woman in the audience asked if it was possible for some future female characters to not have the same sexualized designs as most so far, a question that was laughed off by the panel.
Activision Blizzard employees recently held a walkout in protest of the company's response to the lawsuit so far, a walkout that saw support from several hundred employees at Ubisoft who are also frustrated with Ubisoft's response to ongoing allegations.