After all the Blizzard scandals of the previous two years, another has emerged, including the dismissal of a prominent World of Warcraft developer.
Brian Birmingham, one of the most prolific WoW Classic designers, was in no way at fault. Birmingham had only protested a personnel policy at Blizzard, which has since been made public in a Bloomberg article.
It's not about a predetermined threshold for employee evaluations – regardless of whether or not they do a good job or not – but rather about the parent company, which Birmingham refers to as ABK in a long tweet.
Birmingham expressed his displeasure at being forced to downgrade an employee from a "successful" to "in development" in order to meet the company's target quota. "When asked why we had to downgrade an employee from a "successful" to "in development," the team directors explained that, while they didn't agree with it, the managers stated that it was important to see the worst players among Pushing to ensure everyone keeps growing," Birmingham wrote in the email.
According to Birmingham, this ranking encourages conflict among employees, mutual sabotage of work, the desire to find underperforming teams where one can be the best performing employee, and ultimately it damages trust and destroys creativity. He refuses to continue working for Blizzard as long as this regulation exists.
Blizzard or Activision Blizzard have yet to make a decision, but the issue should not be over with Birmingham's dismissal.
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