Overwatch is changing McCree’s name following Blizzard being hit with a lawsuit alleging widespread gender discrimination and sexual harassment within the company. Confirmation of the change comes after Blizzard was hit with additional accusations yesterday, including shredding documents that pertain to the ongoing lawsuit.
Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing on July 20, with the lawsuit stating that Blizzard had a “frat boy” environment that discriminated against women and didn’t punish male employees who harassed women that worked in the office.
This caused a lot of former and current employees to come forward with their own experiences, including black women being aggressively micro-managed while their male co-workers play games and even male employees who recalled employees harassing them and their partner.
In response, Overwatch has decided to change McCree’s name. Jesse McCree shares the same name as a current Blizzard employee who is working on Diablo 4. The real-life McCree is among those pictured to have hung out in a BlizzCon hotel room in 2013 with other male employees dubbed the “Cosby Suite,” with him discussing accused employees having sex with women there in leaked text messages.
“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 known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for,” Overwatch stated on Twitter.
In Overwatch’s official statement on the cowboy’s name, the team stated that it was tough to change the name of a “well-loved and central hero.” The team said it will take time to “roll out correctly.”
The first step for the Overwatch team is delaying a new arc that was set to launch in the near future. Instead, a new FFA map will arrive in September.
No new name was mentioned, although the team did note that it will not be named after a “real-world reference.” And no other characters will ever be named after real people either, noting “this will help reinforce that we’re building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world and better illustrates that the creation of Overwatch is truly a team effort.”
Overwatch developers stated that “actions speak louder than words,” and changing McCree’s name is apparently one of those actions towards proving that Blizzard is “inclusive.”
A lot of people in the Overwatch community reacted negatively to the change. Some felt that McCree should keep his name since he is now an iconic hero and a name shouldn’t bother people.
But others felt that changing McCree’s name was simply a cop-out instead of Blizzard making any real changes. Some pointed out that the Overwatch team was attempting to make a change to show they weren’t in support of Blizzard as a whole.
Even though the change wasn’t seen as very significant overall, it seemed like a good step to some people within the Overwatch fandom. Players felt that it was a great way to show that the Overwatch team didn’t support the behavior of McCree’s namesake.
For now, the Overwatch community is awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit and is hoping to see some more impactful changes at the company itself. Still, it’s hard not to speculate what the name will be. Whatever his new name becomes, McCree will always be a BAMF.