When Activision Blizzard released Overwatch in 2016 it was praised for having a cast of characters that were all seen as unique and different from one another. However, one of those characters is currently undergoing a massive push from fans to have their name changed. Jesse McCree, the cowboy DPS hero, is named after a former developer at Activision Blizzard who was recently let go. The reason why McCree, the developer, was let go from the company was never officially stated, but it’s believed to be due to his involvement in the “Cosby Suite”. The “Cosby Suite” is one of the many accusations currently listed in a lawsuit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard for creating a “frat boy culture.”
On Thursday, the Overwatch team released a statement that they are currently in the process of changing the name of the cowboy DPS hero. While never addressing the exact reasoning behind it, they did say that it’s because they feel his current name does not “represent what Overwatch stands for.”
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021
The statement goes on to say that it will take time to change the name of the cowboy DPS hero because he has played an essential part in the lore of the Overwatch universe up to this point. He’s had an animated short, been a major part of multiple events, and was even going to kick off some new story content. However, with the push to change his name going so far as to have eSports broadcasters refusing to say it on air, it was clear that it had to be done.
The statement makes one other key announcement and it’s that they will no longer be naming characters after employees. This was a trend in Activision Blizzard games that had been going on for quite some time. It was not uncommon for an NPC in a game like World of Warcraft, to be named after a developer on the game. However, with some of those developers being named in the recent lawsuit, it’s become apparent that the practice of naming characters after employees needed to end.
The lawsuit against Activision Blizzard is currently still ongoing, and was recently updated with accusations of the company tampering with evidence and shredding documents that were in relation to the investigation against them. Activision Blizzard released a statement in response claiming they have taken “appropriate steps to preserve information relevant to the DFEH investigation,”