Bad news for Overwatch 2, still under development: the executive producer of the series has left Blizzard for what according to the company is “a bit of free time”. Chacko Sonny it’s just the latest in an ever-growing list of Blizzard departures.
Overwatch 2 executive producer leaves Activision Blizzard
Chacko Sonny, who has been with Blizzard since 2016 and has worked on both Overwatch games, announced his departure to colleagues on Friday, according to Bloomberg. In addition to his role at Overwatch, he was also the company’s vice president.
A statement released by the company states that it is “leaving Blizzard to take a break after 5 years of service. The deep and 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 will share more at the Overwatch League Grand Finals later this month. ” The Grand Finals are actually this weekend, with a big Overwatch 2 event scheduled for September 25.
Although neither Blizzard’s statement nor Sonny’s farewell email to colleagues obviously mentions the ongoing crisis at the company, Sonny’s departure joins an ever-growing list of high-profile departures. These include that of the director of Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan, who left in April. Also the director of Diablo 4, Luis Belly, the chief designer Jesse McCree and the World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft they left Blizzard.
Also the president of Blizzard J. Allen Brack he resigned last month, around the same time as the company’s head of human resources Jesse Meschuk. While only last week the chief legal officer of the company resigned.
Legal trouble for the company
In July, the California Department of Employment and Equitable Housing (DFEH) sued Activision Blizzard for several “violations of state civil rights and equal pay laws.” They were mentioned widespread harassment, discrimination and abuse, particularly against women within the company. The lawsuit cites a so-called “Cosby Suite” at BlizzCon, a hotel room known for the unpleasant behavior of some prominent men in the company at the time.
In the wake of that, the employees held up a strike highly publicized and sent a letter to the company condemning its horrendous behavior. More recently, those employees claim that Activision Blizzard is not meeting their demands.
The sponsors also stopped supporting the company’s esports. Then Activision Blizzard was hit with a second lawsuit (a class action) over the first. And the day before yesterday, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, the news came that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated an extensive investigation into Activision Blizzard, also issuing a subpoena (basically, a court order that legally requires someone to testify) to longtime CEO, Bobby Kotick.
In short, it cannot be said that Blizzard is doing well and consequently not even Overwatch 2, which is in the final stages of development.