Blizzard fires WoW Classic lead after he protests employee evaluation policy


One of World of Warcraft Classic’s lead developers was fired by Blizzard after protesting an employee evaluation policy, according to a report by Bloomberg (opens in new tab).

Brian Birmingham, who is the lead engineer on WoW Classic, refused to give an employee a low evaluation in order to meet a quota introduced by Blizzard in 2021. The process, called “stack ranking,” requires managers to give about 5% of their employees a low performance evaluation to fit on a bell curve of relative performance. According to Activision Blizzard sources who spoke to Bloomberg, a low rating reduces an employee’s profit-sharing bonus and “could hamper them from receiving raises or promotions in the near future.”