Overwatch devs reveal McCree's new name as Blizzard distances itself from controversy
Developers at Blizzard Entertainment unveil a new take on the iconic gunslinger at the center of the game Overwatch.by Alessandro Fillari · CNET
Blizzard Entertainment revealed the new name of Overwatch's cowboy gunslinger, McCree, and he's now known as Cole Cassidy. The change happened due to a shift at Blizzard following reports of sexual harassment and toxicity in leadership. The new moniker is meant to distance the gunslinger from now-fired Blizzard game designer Jesse McCree, the character's namesake, who was terminated after the outcry over a toxic culture.
Revealed in a tweet from the official Overwatch Twitter account, the name change came alongside added background meant to connect the makeover to the game's story while also addressing the current state of Blizzard. The renamed cowboy is scheduled to make his debut in Overwatch on Oct. 26.
"To make this new Overwatch better, to make things right, he had to be honest with his team and himself," the Twitter post reads. "The cowboy he was rode into the sunset, and Cole Cassidy faced the world at dawn. 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 where 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."
Along with the name change, Blizzard removed all voice lines that mention the name McCree, which will now be rerecorded to reference Cole Cassidy. The Overwatch change was first announced in August, with the developers calling it a way to start building toward a larger message of inclusivity.
The recent revelations of abuse at Blizzard Entertainment have caused a significant turnover at the company, which saw legacy developers, some of whom have been at the company since the early years, depart voluntarily or otherwise. This also led to numerous delays with Blizzard's core properties, such as World of Warcraft, Diablo IV, and most especially Overwatch, and its sequel, Overwatch 2. World of Warcraft also saw recent changes to characters to distance them from other developers who'd been cited as problematic for the company.