Jesse McCree, Overwatch’s cowboy hero, has been renamed Cole Cassidy.
Meet Cole Cassidy.— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021
Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs
The name change is part of a number of updates Blizzard is making to its games to remove references to problematic people or themes that have come to light in the wake of several discrimination and harassment suits filed against the company. Last month, World of Warcraft removed NPCs that referenced former senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi, who was named in the harassment suit as participating in the infamous “Cosby Suite” incident. Jesse McCree — a former lead designer — was also a part of that incident and for whom Overwatch’s cowboy character was named.
When these allegations were publicized, casters refused to say the character’s name during Overwatch League matches. The Overwatch team later stated they were in the process of changing McCree’s name.
In a tweet, the Overwatch team framed the name change as Cassidy coming to terms with his checkered past and giving up his outlaw name, providing a clever in-game explanation for a change that was because of real-world forces.
“To make this new Overwatch better — to make things right — he has to be honest with his team and himself,” the announcement tweet says.
The name change goes live October 26th.