Blizzard has announced that it will change the name of Overwatch hero McCree amidst the fallout from the ongoing Activision Blizzard sexual harassment lawsuit.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Blizzard gave their reasoning for the change. “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.”
McCree was originally named after Jesse McCree, one of three lead developers let go earlier this month in the wake of the ongoing lawsuit from the State of California that alleged widespread harassment of women at Activision Blizzard. The real life McCree was also one of the parties named in a photograph in a Kotaku investigation including several employees staying in a room dubbed “The Cosby Suite” at Blizzcon 2013, related to the allegations. References to another of these employees in World of Warcraft were scrubbed back in July.
The team acknowledge that the overhaul to the game’s fiction will take some time and promise updates as the work progresses. However, they also revealed that they had planned to start a new narrative arc next month heavily involving the character. As a result, they will delay this arc in order to integrate the changes. For the time being, a new FFA map will instead be launched in its place.
Going forward, Blizzard say, they will no longer name in-game characters after real employees and that they “will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content.” They add “We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be.”
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021