Overwatch renaming McCree due to Blizzard lawsuit

The cowboy, named after a real developer involved in sexual harassment allegations, will be part of a narrative arc that gives him a new moniker.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

One of Overwatch’s original characters, gunslinger Jesse McCree, will be renamed this fall as a part of a new narrative arc, the game’s development team announced today. 

In the wake of widespread sexual harassment allegations and lawsuits levied against Activision Blizzard Entertainment, various developers were implicated and removed from the company. Among them was developer Jesse McCree, part of the “Cosby Suite” BlizzCon group chat, who was the namesake for one of Overwatch’s most iconic characters.  

While developer McCree had no apparent ties to the Overwatch team aside from being an inspiration for a cowboy name, the allegations and his removal hung heavily on the community. Overwatch players lobbied for the character to be renamed and several Overwatch League casters opted to not say his name on broadcast.  

“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,” the developer team said in a message posted to social media

The team revealed that the cowboy was already slated to be part of a narrative arc that would have launched in September. This narrative arc will be delayed to later in the year due to these changes, but McCree’s renaming will be included in that arc.  

“We will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content,” the developers said. They also said they’ll continue to build a universe that’s “unmistakably different from the real world.”