Blizzard Is Changing Overwatch Character McCree's Name In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
McCree is named after former Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, who was ousted earlier this year.
Blizzard has announced that it will change Overwatch character McCree's name after its namesake, former Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, was ousted from the company amid the Activision Blizzard sexual harassment and discrimination case.
"We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future," Blizzard said in an update posted to Twitter. "They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team. 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 currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for."
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021
Blizzard said the change "will take time to roll out correctly," and the company promised to share additional updates on this as it progresses. The developer also shared that it had planned to begin a new narrative arc for Overwatch in September, with McCree expected to play a key role.
As a result of the forthcoming changes to McCree, Blizzard is delaying the new arc until later this year. In the place of this, Blizzard will release a new FFA map for Overwatch in September.
Looking ahead, Blizzard said it will no longer name Overwatch characters after real employees. The company also vowed to "be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real-world references in future Overwatch content."
"We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be."
Jesse McCree was among the Blizzard developers pictured in the infamous "Cosby Suite" photo. While all of this is happening, Blizzard continues to work on updates to Overwatch and the sequel, Overwatch 2, which is scheduled to release in 2022 at the soonest.
Before this, Blizzard's World of Warcraft team vowed to remove "not appropriate" references from its game in the wake of calls to pull two NPCs named after former WoW creative director Alex Afrasiabi.
Activision Blizzard is being sued by the state of California for a pattern of sexual harassment and discrimination against women. Just this week, the state amended its lawsuit with new claims that Activision Blizzard's HR department is shredding documents pertaining to the case.