With Overwatch 2 still in development, the series’ executive producer has quit Blizzard for what the company says is “some time off.”
Chacko Sonny, who has been at Blizzard since 2016 and has worked on both Overwatch games, announced his departure to colleagues on Friday, Bloomberg reports. In addition to his role on Overwatch he was also a company vice president.
A statement released by Blizzard says he is, “leaving Blizzard to take some time off after 5 years of service. The deep, talented Overwatch team is making excellent progress on Overwatch 2, and thanks to their hard work, the game is in the final stages of production. We’ll be sharing more at the Overwatch League Grand Finals later this month.”
That’s actually this weekend, with a big Overwatch 2 news event scheduled for September 25. While neither Blizzard’s statement nor Sonny’s own farewell email to colleagues mentions the ongoing crisis at the company, he joins an ever-growing list of high-profile departures which includes Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan leaving in April, and last month Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, lead designer Jesse McCree, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft were let go from Blizzard.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack also quit last month, around the same time as the company’s head of HR Jesse Meschuk, while just last week the company’s chief legal officer also resigned.
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In July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Activision Blizzard over several “violations of state’s civil rights and equal pay laws,” including widespread harassment, discrimination and abuse, especially against women at the company. Notably, the suit cites a so-called “Cosby Suite” at BlizzCon, a hotel room notorious for untoward behavior from some top men at the company at the time.
In the wake of this, employees held a highly publicized walkout and sent a letter to the company condemning its horrendous behavior. More recently, those employees say Activision Blizzard isn’t meeting their demands.
Sponsors have pulled support for the company’s esports. Activision Blizzard was hit with a second lawsuit (a class action) over the first. And yesterday, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal, news broke that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an extensive investigation into Activision Blizzard, even issuing a subpoena (basically, a court order that legally requires someone to testify) to longtime CEO Bobby Kotick.