Back in August, the Overwatch creative team announced it would be changing the name of its cowboy hero Jesse McCree following the character’s namesake being named in a lawsuit against Blizzard regarding workplace misconduct. As of October 26, the hero’s name will be changed in-game to Cole Cassidy.
The new name was unveiled on the Overwatch social channels, which hinted that the name will be revealed as Cole’s real name, meaning the McCree moniker was one the character took after some unknown event. Blizzard said in the initial announcement it had a story update in the works that it was delaying to make changes that would allow it to remove McCree’s name from the game. The full text on the teaser reads as follows:
The first thing a renegade loses is their name, and this one gave up his long ago. Running from his past meant running from himself, and each passing year only widened the divide between who he had been and what he had become. But in every cowboy’s life, there comes a time when he has to stop and make a stand. To make this new Overwatch better – to make things right – he had to be honest with his team and himself. The cowboy he was rode into the sunset, and Cole Cassidy faced the world at dawn.
Meet Cole Cassidy.
Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021
What’s unclear at this point is just how players will be given this information in-game. Will this be in some kind of playable event? A cinematic? That remains to be seen. Following McCree’s departure from Blizzard, the Overwatch team is making a rule about naming characters after or making reference to real-world people, including removing a reference to ex-VP Jeff Kaplan from Overwatch 2.
All of this comes following a lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard from the state of California, which goes into detail about alleged workplace misconduct and the “frat boy” culture at the company. As of earlier this week, the company has fired 20 employees after investigating reports of harassment and sexism in the company.