Overwatch players have been noticing over the past few days that McCree’s noose spray has been removed from the game.
Anyone who had unlocked or equipped the noose spray will now automatically be given a horseshoe spray in its place. The horseshoe has the words “bad luck” written across the top.
The change was made without any statement from Blizzard, who made the alteration in the game’s latest update. At first overshadowed by the new legendary Sigma skin, challenge, and arcade mode, fans started to realize that McCree’s noose was missing.
In today’s update, the Overwatch McCree “Noose” spray has been removed and replaced with the “BAD LUCK” spray. pic.twitter.com/rpMAfJlB2y
— Naeri X 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) July 15, 2020
While Blizzard hasn’t given an explanation behind the change, it wouldn’t be surprising if their choice had to do with the roles nooses played in the lynching of black people in years past, as well as the recent hangings discovered throughout the United States this year. Even though it could have been seen as a lasso for McCree’s cowboy persona, it was often used in-game to “hang” other people’s sprays.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been front and center this year because of ongoing incidents of police brutality, and game developers have been making moves with respect to the cause. Developer Riot Games recently fired their global head of consumer products, Ron Johnson, for making insensitive comments about the death of George Floyd, though the move came only after pressure from advertising partners. Activision Blizzard has also removed or renamed a few Call of Duty: Modern Warfare cosmetics, including the “okay” hand gesture and the Border War skin.
Many Overwatch players applauded Blizzard for the change, saying they not only felt it should have been removed a long time ago but that they also enjoyed the horseshoe spray more. Some said it seemed to better match the character. Other players contended that people are being too sensitive about an in-game spray and that the noose was harmless.
While the spray may have been created with innocent intentions, players noted on Blizzard’s forum that racists had been misusing the noose spray for quite some time.