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Blizzard has announced that McCree, the gunslinging cowboy of Overwatch will have his name changed following the departure of the employee he was named after. Jesse McCree, the character, was named after Diablo 4's lead designer Jesse McCree who was involved within the Cosby Suite group chats mentioned in the California versus Activision Blizzard lawsuit.
If you've played Overwatch it's more than likely you know McCree as an effective damage-dealing machine. Considering other characters in the game have rockets, shields, magical healing and more, he does pretty well for just a guy with a revolver.
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However, according to PC Gamer casters at Overwatch League matches stopped saying his name when he was being played earlier this month. Casters Bren and Sideshow took it upon themselves to just call him "the cowboy" whenever he was referred to in protest of the developer Jesse McCree. It was yet another sign that the name had to be changed following the actions of the person he was named after.
The Overwatch account on various social media platforms put out a statement on the situation: "We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.
"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.
"We realise 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 work progresses. In the near term, we had planned to kick off a narrative arc in September supported with new story and game content, of which McCree was a key part. Since we want to integrate this change into that story arc, we will be delaying the new arc until later this year and instead launch a new FFA map this September. 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 rest of the statement claims that the Overwatch team is dedicated to making the game a better experience in-game but they recognise "actions speak louder than words". McCree's new name will be revealed before the end of the year likely through in-game events. The team will also have to go back and correct a lot of lore across the wider brand from books to comics and even merchandise.
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