'Overwatch' hero McCree will be renamed in response to sexual harassment lawsuit
The sexual harassment lawsuit against Activision Blizzard will have more repercussions for game content. Blizzard is changingOverwatch character Jesse McCree's name now that his real-life namesake has left the company. The developer wants a name that "better represents" Overwatch ideals, according to a statement.
The company had planned a story arc for September that would have featured McCree, but is delaying that narrative until later in 2021 to reflect the name change. Players will instead get a new free-for-all map that month. Blizzard also promised that it would no longer name characters after employees, and said it would be more "thoughtful and discerning" about referencing the real world in Overwatch.
The real Jesse McCree left Blizzard earlier in August, just weeks after his name surfaced in a California lawsuit over sexual discrimination and harassment at the gaming giant. McCree was reportedly spotted in photos of BlizzCon's notorious "Cosby Suite" hotel room where Blizzard workers allegedly harassed women.
This isn't the first time Blizzard has altered content following the lawsuit. It pulled World of Warcraft's references to Alex Afrasiabi, directly accused of harassment, soon after the suit emerged. However, this might be more noticeable. McCree is one of the best-known characters in Overwatch — the name change could easily draw attention to the lawsuit and the "frat boy" culture that reportedly persisted for years.
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021