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Cybernetically enhanced cowboy McCree has been a playable character in the popular hero shooter since it launched back in 2016. The character also happens to be named after Blizzard developer Jesse McCree, who previously worked on World Of Warcraft and Diablo 4.
In one story published by Kotaku, it emerged that McCree was one of the men associated with the now-infamous 'Cosby Suite', a nickname given to a BlizzCon 2013 hotel room where men would reportedly go to drink, party, and pose with a large portrait of previously convicted rapist Bill Cosby. The suite was reportedly owned by World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi, one of the people mentioned by name in the Activision Blizzard lawsuit.
In screenshots of a group chat obtained by the publication, ex-Blizzard designer David Kosak wrote that he was "gathering the hot chixx for the Coz" - a reference to the aforementioned suite.
"Bring em," replies Afrasiabi. "You can't marry ALL of them Alex," Kosak says. "I can, I'm middle eastern," Afrasiabi replies.
"You misspelled fuck," responds McCree.
Activision Blizzard confirmed in a statement earlier this week that McCree has since been let go.
"We have a deep, talented roster of developers already in place and new leaders have been assigned where appropriate," the company said. "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."
Despite Activision Blizzard taking action against McCree, fans are uncomfortable that his name remains in Overwatch - and attached to a prominent character, no less. Over on Twitter, a number of gamers are calling for Blizzard to rename or remove the character altogether in light of "the real life Jesse McCree being a greasy 'Cosby Suite' dwelling scumbag."
Petition for @PlayOverwatch to rename Jesse McCree to Matt Mercer in light of the real life Jesse McCree being a greasy "Cosby Suite" dwelling scumbag. #ActiBlizzWalkout #blizzardlawsuit #Blizzard
- Woover (@DailyWoover) July 28, 2021
The OW team have mentioned the Jesse McCree at blizzard was the inspiration for McCree in Overwatch at least in terms of name, it honestly breaks my heart that one of my favorite characters in gaming is named after This disgusting man, it really hurts. https://t.co/kaIYVWzykK
- Autin (@SimplyDmonic) July 28, 2021
@PlayOverwatch kill off Jesse mcCree or give us his real name for Overwatch 2, I'm never speaking that PoS name again. Disgusted.
- eatsmoke (@eatsmokes) July 28, 2021
Dexerto also reports that Overwatch League casters Brennon 'Bren' Hook and Josh 'Sideshow' Wilkinson avoided saying the character's name during a recent broadcast, referring to McCree as "the cowboy" instead. Blizzard has yet to respond to the situation.
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