Primary developer behind WoW:Classic departs from Blizzard: “I can’t participate in a policy that lets ABK steal money from deserving employees”

Blizzard fired one of the primary developers for World of Warcraft Classic for objecting to a company evaluation procedure.

Brian Birmingham, the chief engineer on WoW Classic, refused to give a worker a low evaluation. In order for managers’ staff to fit on a bell curve of relative performance, a process known as “stack ranking” necessitates that they assign around 5% of them low performance ratings. A low rating “may restrict employees from earning raises or promotions in the near future,” according to Activision Blizzard sources who talked to Bloomberg. It also lowers an employee’s profit-sharing incentive.

Activision Blizzard put pressure on the World of Warcraft Classic development team to complete the two expansions (The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King) earlier. Therefore, Birmingham believes it is unjust to punish some team members using this system.