Inside Blizzard Developers’ Infamous Bill ‘Cosby Suite’
Booze, sexual remarks, and a giant portrait of Cosby are all at the center of Activision lawsuit
Since news broke last week of widespread allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at Activision Blizzard via a legal complaint from the state of California, many top male developers there, both current and former, have responded with shock and dismay.
But while many claim they weren’t aware of the problematic “frat boy culture” leading to accusations of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of male Blizzard employees, comments and images shared on social media paint a different picture. Based on photographs and screenshots of Facebook posts obtained by Kotaku, it’s clear that people beyond Alex Afrasiabi—the man named in the lawsuit, and a long-time World of Warcraft developer—were aware of the “Cosby Suite” mentioned in the lawsuit. That was apparently a nickname for Afrasiabi’s BlizzCon 2013 hotel room, and seemingly a reference to the name of previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby.
Afrasiabi worked on World of Warcraft beginning in 2004, designed some of its biggest quests, and eventually became a creative director on the 2016 Legion and 2018 Battle for Azeroth expansions. He is also the only person, outside of Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, outright named in the lawsuit—a fact that’s made it easy for many to try to distance themselves from Afrasiabi’s actions.
“During a company event (an annual convention called Blizz Con [sic]) Afrasiabi would hit on female employees, telling him [sic] he wanted to marry them, attempting to kiss them, and putting his arms around them,” the complaint reads. “This was in plain view of other male employees, including supervisors, who had to intervene and pull him off female employees. Afrasiabi was so known to engage in harassment of females that his suite was nicknamed the ‘Crosby Suite’ [sic] after alleged rapist Bill Crosby [sic].