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Newly appointed Blizzard co-lead Jen Oneal is leaving the company

Activision Blizzard lawsuit
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Blizzard co-lead Jen Oneal will leave the company by the end of the year. 

Activision Blizzard confirmed Oneal's upcoming departure in its latest earnings call. Oneal was appointed Blizzard co-lead alongside Mike Ybarra back in August, following the departure of president J. Allen Brack amidst the ongoing Activision Blizzard lawsuit

"I am doing this not because I am without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite – I’m inspired by the passion of everyone here, working towards meaningful, lasting change with their whole hearts," Oneal said in a letter confirming that she has stepped down from her lead role as of today. "This energy has inspired me to step out and explore how I can do more to have games and diversity intersect, and hopefully make a broader industry impact that will benefit Blizzard (and other studios) as well. While I am not totally sure what form that will take, I am excited to embark on a new journey to find out."

Oneal was previously executive vice president of development at Vicarious Visions, a support studio which Activision officially absorbed this year. She's also a board member for Women In Games International, a nonprofit working to further diversity and economic equality in the games industry. In Oneal's honor, Activision is creating a $1 million grant to support WIGI's cause, with Oneal sticking around this year to help oversee how it's allocated. 

"I wanted to tell the Blizzard community this personally because I want you to know I believe so strongly in Mike and the rest of Blizzard’s leadership both in terms of Blizzard’s culture and Blizzard’s games," Oneal adds. "Blizzard’s best days are ahead. I truly believe that. I also am hoping this letter helps you to think about what you can do to make everyone around you – no matter their gender, race, or identity – feel welcome, comfortable, and free to be themselves." 

Blizzard has shed several top executives and designers in the past few months, including Diablo 4 director Luis Barriga, and claims more than 20 people "exited" the company following internal investigations, with more than another 20 facing disciplinary action.

Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 have been delayed out of 2022.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.