Blizzard Entertainment has announced that it is renaming McCree, Overwatch’s Outlaw Bounty Hunter, its real-life namesake after former game designer Jesse McCree was fired from his position as publisher Activision Blizzard amid sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuits. In light of the recent turmoil at Blizzard over abuse lawsuits and layoffs, the company has renamed Overwatch hero McCree its namesake. We should note that the name change will require a change in development plans and a new bow, prompting Blizzard to say that it will not in the future name characters after real people.
Former Blizzard developer McCree is one of Overwatch’s most popular characters and will be at the center of an upcoming story arc. As a result, Blizzard had to delay some content until they could figure out if they could rename the character. A fan campaign to change the name of an Overwatch character whose name was disputed between Activision Blizzard and an ex-employee was shared on Twitter by the official Overwatch account to change the name.
Earlier this week, Blizzard issued a statement informing Overwatch fans that “McCree,” the name of former Game writer Jesse McCree, would undergo a name change after a sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuit. Blizzard Entertainment, the developer and publisher of Overwatch, announced that the Overwatch team plans to release a new narrative arc for the game in September – a new story and in-game content – that will feature a character called McCree in the game based on the real-life former game developer company, and that McCree would play a key role in the story, but the story and content have been delayed by over a year.
The name of developer Jesse McCree was part of Cosby’s suite at BlizzCon, the namesake of one of Overwatch’s most iconic characters, with obvious connections to the Overwatch team, inspiration for cowboy name, and allegations of being removed from the hanged community. Now, amid an ongoing lawsuit by Activision Blizzard over the discriminatory frat-boy culture at the company, Overwatch’s McCree is getting a name change.
Now Blizzard has announced that it will rename the character and McCree will no longer be used as a personal name in any of its games. The reason why Overwatch cast members stopped using the name McCree was that the name Diablo 4 level designer Jesse, who had worked with Blizzard for years on the game, and a large part of the player base demanded a change.
The Overwatch development team says that it will not name in-game characters in the future after real people, but will be more thoughtful and demanding to add real-world references to future Overwatch content. For example, World of Warcraft NPC field Marshal Afrasiabi is named after former Blizzard employee Alex Afrasiabi, who has been named several times in harassment claims after being accused of sexually harassing Blizzard female employees and organizing the Cosby Suite. The game features a number of game characters, items, quests, and other references to the former problematic Blizzard developer Alex Abrasi, who left the company last year and is one of two defendants named in the California lawsuit.
The statement from the Blizzard Overwatch team comes amid an ongoing lawsuit against the company alleging sexual harassment and discrimination against women of color. The lawsuit filed against Blizzard in California accuses World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi of sexually harassing women at BlizzCon in the “Cosby Suite”, a hotel room with a portrait of Bill Cosby. Renamed after Overwatch character McCree, the namesake of the game development team, developer Jesse McCree left the team after the team and the state of California sued the team and alleging’s harassment in the workplace and discrimination of the team.
Jesse McCree is a former Blizzard employee who was fired from the studio over a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company and was one of those present in the infamous Cosby suite, Kotaku reported. The real Jesse McCree left Blizzard Entertainment in August, two weeks after the publication of the report that McCree attended a Blizzard meeting at BlizzCon Cosby’s suite with former World of Warcraft creator Alex Afrasiabi. There is no indication that AFRASIBIA is no longer with the company, and Activision and Blizzard have pulled the plug on “McCree” in the game’s name.