Blizzard fires WoW Classic lead after he protests employee evaluation policy

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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.”