It looks like the most famous cowboy in all of Overwatch is officially getting renamed. A recent statement from the Overwatch team confirmed the character, named after former developer Jesse McCree, will be having his name changed in a future update.
“We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.”
Jesse McCree was let go from Blizzard two weeks ago after images of him inside the now-infamous “Cosby Suite” at BlizzCon 2013 surfaced online. Now it seems the company wants to make sure they can distance the game from him as much as possible. This is in line with others who were named in the lawsuit against Blizzard like Alex Afrasiabi who has had all references to him removed from World of Warcraft as well.
At the time McCree was released, a spokesperson at Activision commented, “We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate. We are confident in our ability to continue progress, deliver amazing experiences to our players, and move forward to ensure a safe, productive work environment for all.”
While no other reasons were given for his release at that time, it may be reasonable to assume it has something to do with more lawsuits levied against the company as well as the “Cosby Suite” fiasco. The company will have different policies behind naming characters going forward.
“Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content.”
The company confirmed that the incoming Overwatch content that was set to expand McCree’s storyline previously planned for September will now be delayed while promising to keep fans updated. “We realize that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll share updates as this week progresses.”
Source: Activision Blizzard