One of Overwatch’s most iconic heroes will be rocking a new name as of Oct. 22, distancing the character from the real-life allegations surrounding his namesake.
The cowboy formerly known as Jesse McCree will be renamed Cole Cassidy, according to announcements from the game’s developers. Though the name was publicly revealed today, Cole Cassidy’s name will be officially put into the game on Oct. 26 alongside a patch on the live Overwatch servers.
When Overwatch was originally created, the team gave its cowboy character the name Jesse McCree after a real-life Blizzard Entertainment developer. That developer was later involved in the vast sexual harassment lawsuit levied against Blizzard earlier this year and was directly implicated in the “Cosby Suite” group chat debacle.
Wanting to separate the character from the actions of his namesake, the Overwatch team announced in late August that it would be renaming McCree. Players had lobbied for the hero’s name change and multiple Overwatch League casters refused to say his name on broadcast. Most of the lines directly referencing McCree were taken out of the game earlier this week.
The cowboy’s new name, Cole Cassidy, could have a wide variety of origins. While noted outlaw Butch Cassidy is a likely source of inspiration, Hopalong Cassidy – a famous Western cowboy character of the early 1900s – is also a possible namesake.
The original announcement by the Overwatch team said the name change would be coupled with a new narrative arc as well as story content, which is yet to be seen.