In context: Companies that name video game characters after their employees are not unusual, but what happens when the people in question fall from grace? It’s a situation Blizzard faces with Overwatch gunman McCree, named after Jesse McCree, one of several staff members fired amid the sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought against the company. Now, Blizzard has announced that it will be changing the character’s name and will no longer use staff names in its games.
Blizzard helped immortalize Diablo 4’s lead level designer Jesse McCree by naming the popular Overwatch character after him, a decision he regretted after Kotaku revealed his involvement in the game. “Cosby Suite” group chats. This led some Overwatch League commentators to refuse to use the name, referring to him as “the cowboy” during matches. There have also been calls from fans and players to change the character’s name.
Blizzard has acknowledged the problem and will change the name to McCree. “We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusion, fairness and hope are the pillars of a better future,” the company said in a statement. “They are fundamental to the game and to the Overwatch team.”
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X
– Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021
“As we continue to discuss how to better live our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a world of games that reflects them, we believe it is necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.” .
Blizzard didn’t reveal the new name, but we know no other staff member will take it from him. The firm also said that “game characters will no longer be named after actual employees and we will be more thoughtful and demanding in adding real-world references to future Overwatch content.”
There are multiple instances of McCree’s name in World of Warcraft, including Scarlet Lord Jesseriah McCree, Jessup McCree, and Marshal McCree. Hope they are removed as well. Blizzard previously replaced the WoW references to Alex Afrasiabi, who was also part of the “BlizzCon Cosby Crew.”
Blizzard recently promised not to create any more skins based on the Overwatch League MVPs following allegations of sexual assault against professional gamer Jay “Sinatraa” Won.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Jessie McCree, along with Diablo IV director Luis Barriga, and World of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft, had been fired from Blizzard. The lawsuit also caused former company president J. Allen Brack and former director of human resources Jesse Meschuk to resign.
This week, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) charged Activision Blizzard with “withholding and suppressing evidence” and destroying vital documents related to the lawsuit.