Overwatch’s cowboy will be renamed over namesake’s ties to Activision lawsuit

Technology

Ars Technica 27 August, 2021 - 06:15am 11 views

Why is Blizzard changing Mcrees name?

Jesse McCree, a character in Blizzard's Overwatch game, will be renamed in the wake of fallout over sexual harassment allegations against the company. "Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees," it promised. ... bbc.co.ukOverwatch to change cowboy character McCree's name

A new story arc will introduce a new name for McCree

Blizzard has announced via the official Overwatch Twitter account that it plans to change the name of popular character McCree.

In a statement (below), the makers of the popular multiplayer FPS outlined plans to rename the character originally named after former Blizzard designer Jesse McCree, one of the ex-employees linked to the recent harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought against Activision Blizzard by the state of California.

While not referencing the lawsuit and continuing controversy explicitly, the statement — posted as an image on Twitter and a separate identical press release — says that Overwatch was built "around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future" and states that "going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees".

The character's name change will be part of a story arc originally planned for September but now delayed until later in the year in order to integrate the name change.

Here's the statement text in full:

The Overwatch team has issued a statement regarding plans to change the name of the character known as McCree. Please see their post below.

We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.

As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.

We realize that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll share updates as this work progresses. In the near term, we had planned to kick off a narrative arc in September supported with new story and game content, of which McCree was a key part. Since we want to integrate this change into that story arc, we will be delaying the new arc until later this year and instead launch a new FFA map this September.

Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content. This will help reinforce that we’re building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world and better illustrates that the creation of Overwatch is truly a team effort.

Work on these updates is underway, and they are just a part of our ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making whatever changes are necessary to build a future worth fighting for. We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be.

This change also follows the departure of Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, with Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra replacing him as co-leaders at the start of August.

There's no mention of McCree's new name.

[source twitter.com]

About Gavin Lane

Gavin loves a bit of couch co-op, especially when he gets to delegate roles, bark instructions and give much-appreciated performance feedback at the end. He lives in Spain (the plain-y bit where the rain mainly falls) and his love for Banjo-Kazooie borders on the unhealthy.

Comments (60)

Like this would actually fix something ... Stupid change.

“Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.”

Apparently he is going to be renamed after their website designer, Fred Hitler

Imagine being some kid named McCree, super happy your favourite character shares name with you..

Man, changing a name instead of owning your exiting values and making huge lengths to change them seems the path of least resistance to me. I doubt many outside the company would actually associate the name with the dev (first I've heard of it tbh.)

No Activision, you must do better. It's a nothing gesture.

This will fix nothing and the people who defend decisions like this are part of the problem and the people who get super angry about it and argue with them are part of the problem. You see this kind of stuff is done to keep every one distracted with nonsense like this instead of paying attention to the real issues; the alleged harassment. lol

This is how so many of these companies get themselves out of hotwater. They basically piss everyone off with nonsense PR stunts like this.

Just name him Pancho Pistolas and be done with it

alternatively, Activision Blizzard can save face by firing all perpetrators in their company, blacklisting them from video games, and force Bobby Kotick to step down.

this? this is just cheap PR.

“We want to design a game that is inclusive and tells a story of a promising future for our species and our planet. Since human beings are horrible monsters, with none of the qualities we strive to portray, we will no longer be naming our characters after real people. That is all”

I'm sure like in times past, they'll also announce he's gay or some such and go "Look, inclusive" like they did the last time they got in hot water

The name just reminds me of Mad Dog McCree.

Changing the name won't do anything. People who don't know about the issues will wonder why the name change now and the majority (like myself) doing this isn't solving the issue.

Not sure if it is true or not but I heard that the HR destroyed evidence because the destroying the evidence is a much less punishment then what the evidence showed.

Fix the root cause of things instead of the surface level bs. Alot of people can see through your bs and are not going to comeback to your games and future ones (this is one of the reasons many WOW players abandoned ship and jumped to FFXIV).

@FineLerv Me too, the guy looks like a cowboy, why not say it was named after that game?

***** distractions from a company that still thinks it’s too big to fail despite ever increasingly becoming nothing but a bad joke.

This won't magically solve the problems and restore faith in Activision Blizzard, but it is a respectable measure to distance from someone who was abusive towards women.

The anti naming after employees policy will help ensure characters won't need to be renamed like this again.

@AugustusOxy and judging by some of the comments so far: mission accomplished. Full PR stunt.

This is bizarre. Did ANYONE think McCree was named after an employee and not, ya know, a generic cowboy name i.e. Mad Dog McCree?

The problem is the harassment and assault endemic in the culture in their workplace, not in how they portray their characters. It’s such a strange way to call attention to it. It’s not even virtue signaling. I’d prefer they made McCree a harasser only the game and virtually lynched him... at least it would show some conviction.

@KillerBOB I’m dead hahahahaha

I’m surprised they are doing this before the lawsuit is finished. That’s what I always found so weird and dangerous about cancel culture. It seemed like companies were always punishing people before lawsuits were even finalized. Imagine if it was proved that the person wasn’t involved in the harassment?

Blizzard has been accused of shredding evidence in light of the lawsuit. And yet, they put on this pathetic PR stunt. I don't want McCree's name to change. I don't care who the developer was. The character has been developed and is beloved by the fanbase. This is just a silly distraction.

chaging this character name will not redeem Activision Blizzard of the horrible harassament culture they have in the company.

One of the many stupid things Blizzard did is removing the Swifty (very influential wow player) NPC from the game just because he was targeted by some chick for "harassing" her (years ago!) which was NEVER proven or anything like that.

I expected a comment section basically calling them out for trying to sweep the harassment under the carpet. I did not expect people defending said harasser. Stay classy NLife.

Any fellow Brits remember the sitcom Bottom? Remember Eddie's full name?

@nessisonett It boggles my mind that a site for Nintendo - the first name that comes to many people's minds when they think of fun gaming - regularly attracts comments like you described... and worse.

@Matroska Oh yes I do!

I don't see what changing the name will achieve. I thought for the longest time that it was just a generic cowboy name...Because it is.

Should have just kept it and distanced from the actual person. If anything, this is only going to draw more attention given I guarantee the vast majority of people didn't know he was named after somebody in the first place...or maybe that's the point, to draw attention to how cool and loving ActiBlizzard are wretchs.

@Zuljaras When everything is stagnant, there is no history to be told. Changing the name, and remembering the reason for the change, is what makes this an important history lesson.

This is lazy from activision. They should’ve changed their disgusting work culture before even thinking of doing anything like this

I know a lot of people see this as a meaningless PR stunt. Obviously it doesn't amount to much on its own, but it's still a good step. I don't think anyone believes that it solves the whole problem. There are thousands of people working at Blizzard who had nothing to do with the harassment or are victims themselves. This is for them too.

@diegoarthur nobody will remember why they changed it. Almost nobody even knew who was the reason he was called that. Same with renaming the wow npc Fras Siabi in Stratholme.

At least rename him to something with purpose like Cubey Crawlerton.

"Here's Ronald 'Hip' Nolan Cosby, or Hip for short. We like to call him Rohypnol Cosby, though."

I pointless and useless gesture. This name no longer belongs to this person, it belongs to the character. No one is going to remember that McCree is named after a developer who's behavior was guilty until proven innocent and resolved outside of the public eye. Most OW gamers will likely have no idea and have had no idea that McCree was ever named after anyone at blizzard.

I always thought he was named after Mad Dog McCree, the old FMV game

Honestly I never knew he was named after a Blizzard employee, and I doubt many others did. I am still going to call him McCree. That would be like someone coming along saying oh we don't like the name of Mickey Mouse after using that name for years, let's change it.

I assumed it was because they were being sued by American Laser Games or Digital Leisure for copying Mad Dog Mccree what with it being a similarly named western gunslinger type character.

Typical Blizzard, they are going to remove the sexy female characters, the sexual jokes and the references to former employees, and also remove the things that were OK in the 1990s and early 2000s but are considered racist and offensive now, but they aren't actually going to solve the problem of harassment and rape for the female workers, and the problem of abuse and overwork for all workers, Blizzard once again being nice, friendly and beautiful on the outside, but still rotten on the inside.

@diegoarthur it is just a name and nothing more. Trying to "erase/fix" what happened with a stupid name change will not do a thing.

It will not protect people from future abuse etc.

They are trying to forget that this person worked there which is not a good thing. They need to remember that and just try to be better because of it.

I didn't even know he was named after a dev, This is stupid, yall put your self in this mess and you think changing a name of a few pixels on screen is enough to make up for what you did then your not sorry.

@Tasuki Or changing Disney's name. bc we found out Walt was evil or somthin.

@AlexSora89 Nice Cosby joke, kinda surprised it didn't get taken down. 😃 Though at this point I kind of view people who use the term "cancel culture" as more of a cancer than the actual cancel culture. Same for "woke". 😝

@jm816 Wow, thank you for restoring my faith in... well not humanity b/c humanity is doomed, but the NL readership.

Do we know this is a "PR stunt", handed down from on high, rather than say maybe the devs wanted to do it b/c they don't like the guy?

@diegoarthur that definitely would not make a better society.

Canceling a simple name is idiotic and PR stunt.

As for "Never heard about streets that were named after racist guys back in the 1800s and recently had their names changed?" I never heard about that and if I did I would be against it as well. Modern society just has this one simple "solution", simply cancel everything they associated with bad stuff. That is why nothing will ever change, because people like to live in their "safe" spaces and their pink bubbles far away from the hurtful words.

@Zuljaras The idea that we have to continue to enshrine racists and predators or else repeat history is just silly and untrue.

@Zuljaras Why are the bubbles pink?

@nessisonett because the pink is associated with happy stuff. At least in my culture

@Zuljaras It’s just a bit of a random adjective I dunno 😂

@nessisonett never heard of "Take of your pink glasses and wake up!"?

Wearing pink glasses is associated with people seeing everything as they want it.

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Read full article at Ars Technica

Overwatch changing McCree’s name is the right move but more can be done

Dexerto 29 August, 2021 - 12:40am

A new story arc will introduce a new name for McCree

Blizzard has announced via the official Overwatch Twitter account that it plans to change the name of popular character McCree.

In a statement (below), the makers of the popular multiplayer FPS outlined plans to rename the character originally named after former Blizzard designer Jesse McCree, one of the ex-employees linked to the recent harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought against Activision Blizzard by the state of California.

While not referencing the lawsuit and continuing controversy explicitly, the statement — posted as an image on Twitter and a separate identical press release — says that Overwatch was built "around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future" and states that "going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees".

The character's name change will be part of a story arc originally planned for September but now delayed until later in the year in order to integrate the name change.

Here's the statement text in full:

The Overwatch team has issued a statement regarding plans to change the name of the character known as McCree. Please see their post below.

We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.

As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.

We realize that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll share updates as this work progresses. In the near term, we had planned to kick off a narrative arc in September supported with new story and game content, of which McCree was a key part. Since we want to integrate this change into that story arc, we will be delaying the new arc until later this year and instead launch a new FFA map this September.

Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content. This will help reinforce that we’re building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world and better illustrates that the creation of Overwatch is truly a team effort.

Work on these updates is underway, and they are just a part of our ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making whatever changes are necessary to build a future worth fighting for. We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be.

This change also follows the departure of Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, with Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra replacing him as co-leaders at the start of August.

There's no mention of McCree's new name.

[source twitter.com]

About Gavin Lane

Gavin loves a bit of couch co-op, especially when he gets to delegate roles, bark instructions and give much-appreciated performance feedback at the end. He lives in Spain (the plain-y bit where the rain mainly falls) and his love for Banjo-Kazooie borders on the unhealthy.

Comments (60)

Like this would actually fix something ... Stupid change.

“Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.”

Apparently he is going to be renamed after their website designer, Fred Hitler

Imagine being some kid named McCree, super happy your favourite character shares name with you..

Man, changing a name instead of owning your exiting values and making huge lengths to change them seems the path of least resistance to me. I doubt many outside the company would actually associate the name with the dev (first I've heard of it tbh.)

No Activision, you must do better. It's a nothing gesture.

This will fix nothing and the people who defend decisions like this are part of the problem and the people who get super angry about it and argue with them are part of the problem. You see this kind of stuff is done to keep every one distracted with nonsense like this instead of paying attention to the real issues; the alleged harassment. lol

This is how so many of these companies get themselves out of hotwater. They basically piss everyone off with nonsense PR stunts like this.

Just name him Pancho Pistolas and be done with it

alternatively, Activision Blizzard can save face by firing all perpetrators in their company, blacklisting them from video games, and force Bobby Kotick to step down.

this? this is just cheap PR.

“We want to design a game that is inclusive and tells a story of a promising future for our species and our planet. Since human beings are horrible monsters, with none of the qualities we strive to portray, we will no longer be naming our characters after real people. That is all”

I'm sure like in times past, they'll also announce he's gay or some such and go "Look, inclusive" like they did the last time they got in hot water

The name just reminds me of Mad Dog McCree.

Changing the name won't do anything. People who don't know about the issues will wonder why the name change now and the majority (like myself) doing this isn't solving the issue.

Not sure if it is true or not but I heard that the HR destroyed evidence because the destroying the evidence is a much less punishment then what the evidence showed.

Fix the root cause of things instead of the surface level bs. Alot of people can see through your bs and are not going to comeback to your games and future ones (this is one of the reasons many WOW players abandoned ship and jumped to FFXIV).

@FineLerv Me too, the guy looks like a cowboy, why not say it was named after that game?

***** distractions from a company that still thinks it’s too big to fail despite ever increasingly becoming nothing but a bad joke.

This won't magically solve the problems and restore faith in Activision Blizzard, but it is a respectable measure to distance from someone who was abusive towards women.

The anti naming after employees policy will help ensure characters won't need to be renamed like this again.

@AugustusOxy and judging by some of the comments so far: mission accomplished. Full PR stunt.

This is bizarre. Did ANYONE think McCree was named after an employee and not, ya know, a generic cowboy name i.e. Mad Dog McCree?

The problem is the harassment and assault endemic in the culture in their workplace, not in how they portray their characters. It’s such a strange way to call attention to it. It’s not even virtue signaling. I’d prefer they made McCree a harasser only the game and virtually lynched him... at least it would show some conviction.

@KillerBOB I’m dead hahahahaha

I’m surprised they are doing this before the lawsuit is finished. That’s what I always found so weird and dangerous about cancel culture. It seemed like companies were always punishing people before lawsuits were even finalized. Imagine if it was proved that the person wasn’t involved in the harassment?

Blizzard has been accused of shredding evidence in light of the lawsuit. And yet, they put on this pathetic PR stunt. I don't want McCree's name to change. I don't care who the developer was. The character has been developed and is beloved by the fanbase. This is just a silly distraction.

chaging this character name will not redeem Activision Blizzard of the horrible harassament culture they have in the company.

One of the many stupid things Blizzard did is removing the Swifty (very influential wow player) NPC from the game just because he was targeted by some chick for "harassing" her (years ago!) which was NEVER proven or anything like that.

I expected a comment section basically calling them out for trying to sweep the harassment under the carpet. I did not expect people defending said harasser. Stay classy NLife.

Any fellow Brits remember the sitcom Bottom? Remember Eddie's full name?

@nessisonett It boggles my mind that a site for Nintendo - the first name that comes to many people's minds when they think of fun gaming - regularly attracts comments like you described... and worse.

@Matroska Oh yes I do!

I don't see what changing the name will achieve. I thought for the longest time that it was just a generic cowboy name...Because it is.

Should have just kept it and distanced from the actual person. If anything, this is only going to draw more attention given I guarantee the vast majority of people didn't know he was named after somebody in the first place...or maybe that's the point, to draw attention to how cool and loving ActiBlizzard are wretchs.

@Zuljaras When everything is stagnant, there is no history to be told. Changing the name, and remembering the reason for the change, is what makes this an important history lesson.

This is lazy from activision. They should’ve changed their disgusting work culture before even thinking of doing anything like this

I know a lot of people see this as a meaningless PR stunt. Obviously it doesn't amount to much on its own, but it's still a good step. I don't think anyone believes that it solves the whole problem. There are thousands of people working at Blizzard who had nothing to do with the harassment or are victims themselves. This is for them too.

@diegoarthur nobody will remember why they changed it. Almost nobody even knew who was the reason he was called that. Same with renaming the wow npc Fras Siabi in Stratholme.

At least rename him to something with purpose like Cubey Crawlerton.

"Here's Ronald 'Hip' Nolan Cosby, or Hip for short. We like to call him Rohypnol Cosby, though."

I pointless and useless gesture. This name no longer belongs to this person, it belongs to the character. No one is going to remember that McCree is named after a developer who's behavior was guilty until proven innocent and resolved outside of the public eye. Most OW gamers will likely have no idea and have had no idea that McCree was ever named after anyone at blizzard.

I always thought he was named after Mad Dog McCree, the old FMV game

Honestly I never knew he was named after a Blizzard employee, and I doubt many others did. I am still going to call him McCree. That would be like someone coming along saying oh we don't like the name of Mickey Mouse after using that name for years, let's change it.

I assumed it was because they were being sued by American Laser Games or Digital Leisure for copying Mad Dog Mccree what with it being a similarly named western gunslinger type character.

Typical Blizzard, they are going to remove the sexy female characters, the sexual jokes and the references to former employees, and also remove the things that were OK in the 1990s and early 2000s but are considered racist and offensive now, but they aren't actually going to solve the problem of harassment and rape for the female workers, and the problem of abuse and overwork for all workers, Blizzard once again being nice, friendly and beautiful on the outside, but still rotten on the inside.

@diegoarthur it is just a name and nothing more. Trying to "erase/fix" what happened with a stupid name change will not do a thing.

It will not protect people from future abuse etc.

They are trying to forget that this person worked there which is not a good thing. They need to remember that and just try to be better because of it.

I didn't even know he was named after a dev, This is stupid, yall put your self in this mess and you think changing a name of a few pixels on screen is enough to make up for what you did then your not sorry.

@Tasuki Or changing Disney's name. bc we found out Walt was evil or somthin.

@AlexSora89 Nice Cosby joke, kinda surprised it didn't get taken down. 😃 Though at this point I kind of view people who use the term "cancel culture" as more of a cancer than the actual cancel culture. Same for "woke". 😝

@jm816 Wow, thank you for restoring my faith in... well not humanity b/c humanity is doomed, but the NL readership.

Do we know this is a "PR stunt", handed down from on high, rather than say maybe the devs wanted to do it b/c they don't like the guy?

@diegoarthur that definitely would not make a better society.

Canceling a simple name is idiotic and PR stunt.

As for "Never heard about streets that were named after racist guys back in the 1800s and recently had their names changed?" I never heard about that and if I did I would be against it as well. Modern society just has this one simple "solution", simply cancel everything they associated with bad stuff. That is why nothing will ever change, because people like to live in their "safe" spaces and their pink bubbles far away from the hurtful words.

@Zuljaras The idea that we have to continue to enshrine racists and predators or else repeat history is just silly and untrue.

@Zuljaras Why are the bubbles pink?

@nessisonett because the pink is associated with happy stuff. At least in my culture

@Zuljaras It’s just a bit of a random adjective I dunno 😂

@nessisonett never heard of "Take of your pink glasses and wake up!"?

Wearing pink glasses is associated with people seeing everything as they want it.

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World of Warcraft's next update will remove more developer names

PC Gamer 29 August, 2021 - 12:40am

The upcoming season for Pokémon Go is called the Season of Mischief, and Niantic has been throwing big hints about this season since the beginning of Pokémon Go Fest 2021 in July. The season will revolve around the Mythical Pokémon, Hoopa, who was first seen during Pokémon Go Fest 2021 and has been causing trouble ever since.

The big feature of the event will be the season-long Special Research story, starring Hoopa, the mythical Pokémon. Hoopa is arriving on September 5. On that day, you’ll need to complete a series of tasks, and you’ll unlock access to Hoopa Confined. There will be multiple tasks to finish throughout the season. These dates include September 5, 8, and 21. There will be two more event days in October and then November.

We can expect a new rotation of events to start during the second week of September when we learn more about the transition from Pokémon Go’s Season of Discovery to the Season of Mischief. More Pokémon are expected to arrive throughout the season, with new rotations for the northern and southern hemispheres.

We can expect more Ghost, Dark, and Psychic-type Pokémon to appear during these events, given we’re moving towards fall and Halloween. In addition, the upcoming release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will also mean we can expect an upcoming release for players to get hyped about the remastered Nintendo games coming to the Switch.

We don’t have too many details about the upcoming season, but players interested in catching Hoopa will have their chance during the Season of Mischief.

© 2021, Gamepur. All rights reserved

Overwatch Adds A New Map, Malevento, To PC's PTR

GameSpot 29 August, 2021 - 12:40am

The Reason Behind McCree's 'Overwatch' Name Change

Newsweek 29 August, 2021 - 12:40am

McCree is a sharpshooting cowboy—styled after famous spaghetti western gunslingers—who has been a key part of Overwatch's roster since it debuted back in 2016. Alongside 20 other launch heroes, he has always been an iconic part of the online game.

Yet his inclusion has recently become problematic due to his association with a certain Blizzard employee. For context, the character was originally named after Jesse McCree—a level designer at the studio—who was let go from the company earlier this month.

As first reported by Kotaku, McCree was one of the Blizzard staffers who appeared in a controversial image of the Blizzcon "Cosby Suite."

The notion of the "Cosby Suite" first came to public attention in July 2021, when a lawsuit was filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Among other things, the legal document contained allegations of harassment in the workplace, pay discrimination, and a pervasive "frat boy" culture ingrained in the company.

Alex Afrasiabi, former senior creative director of World of Warcraft, was explicitly named in the lawsuit, with accusations that he would engage in "blatant sexual harassment with little to no repercussions". According to the document, Afrasiab's inappropriate behavior with female employees was so well-known that his hotel room was informally nicknamed the 'Crosby [sic] Suite'" in reference to alleged rapist Bill Cosby.

Following the publication of the lawsuit, an image from 2013 then resurfaced, depicting a number of men gathered in this hotel room, posing next to a giant portrait of Cosby. Among those seen in the controversial image was Jesse McCree. He (along with two others) was promptly let go from company as a result.

Cosby has consistently denied the serious accusations against him and was freed from prison in June, after the state supreme court halted further prosecution.

With his namesake no longer affiliated with the company, Blizzard has decided to change the name of McCree in Overwatch.

An official statement, attributed to the game's development team, was posted on Twitter. It read: "We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.

"As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it's necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for."

The statement goes on to say that the alteration will take some time and that a planned narrative arc featuring McCree will have to be delayed. It also clarifies that the team will be implementing a new policy that means they will no longer be naming their characters after real-life employees.

Elaborating upon this point, it continues: "This will help reinforce that we're building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world and better illustrates that the creation of Overwatch is truly a team effort [...] We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make out team the best it can be."

A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X

There is currently no word on what McCree's name will be changed to but the Overwatch team have promised regular updates on the situation.

Newsweek has contacted Activision Blizzard for comment but, at the time of publication, has received no response.

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Overwatch hero will be renamed following Activision Blizzard lawsuit

PinkNews 29 August, 2021 - 12:40am

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Fans had already been campaigning to change the character’s name, but now the official Overwatch Twitter account shared the name-change news.

A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021

Zarya was modled after an employee, right? Where does the real world end and this fiction begin? Am I even real? Is Overwatch on Earth? Am I on Earth? Am I Zarya???

— Ster (@SterLovesFood) August 26, 2021

If someone named Reinhart or Mei do or say something bad in the future, can we look forward to more name changes? You know, "to make the world a better place"?

— DeuS_eX_DaRe (@DeuSeXDaRe) August 26, 2021

We did it, Patrick, we saved Overwatch—and Blizzard! pic.twitter.com/aL2zZquNMg

— Kaleb (@KalebPrime) August 26, 2021

I propose that his name is changed to Shooty McPistolguy

— McCreamy (@McCreamy) August 27, 2021

It seems it will take more than renaming a character to undo the ongoing damage wrought by the allegations against the company.

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Overwatch McCree Name Change is Happening in Light of Activision Blizzard Controversy

XboxAchievements 27 August, 2021 - 08:05am

The Overwatch development team at Activision Blizzard has confirmed that it intends to rename gun-toting cowboy McCree, due to the character being named after a member of staff involved in the investigations into sexual harassment at the company.

“We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team,” reads a tweeted statement from the studio.

“As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for,” it continues.

New story content in which McCree was a “key part” was also due to roll out in September, but will now be delayed until later this year. Instead, a new FFA map will be released in its place. “We realise that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll share updates as this work progresses,” the developer explained.

“Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content. This will help reinforce that we’re building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world and better illustrates that the creation of Overwatch is truly a team effort.”

The statement closes by assuring that work on the updates to McCree are underway, and form part of an “ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making whatever changes are necessary to build a future worth fighting for.” The statement concludes: "We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be."

A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X

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Overwatch to rename McCree after his namesake was dismissed from the company | Business News | MCV/DEVELOP

MCV/Develop 27 August, 2021 - 05:04am

One of Overwatch’s heroes is getting a name change, after his namesake was dismissed from the company earlier this month.

In a statement released by the Overwatch development team, it was revealed that McCree will be getting a new name, and that the company will refrain from naming characters after employees in the future.

Blizzard lead level designer Jesse McCree, for whom the character is named, was one of a number of employees dismissed from the company earlier this month. While no reasons were given for the dismissals, they came just after the company was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, who accuse Activision Blizzard of maintaining a “frat boy culture” rife with sexual harassment and unequal treatment.

A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021

“We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future,” reads the statement.”They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.

“As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.”

McCree’s new name has yet to be revealed, with a planned narrative arc for September was already going to feature McCree. As such, the narrative has been changed to include McCree’s name change, and as such has been delayed until later this year.

Instead of the narrative arc, Overwatch will instead release a new map in September.

“Work on these updates is underway, and they are just a part of our ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making whatever changes are necessary to build a future worth fighting for.

“We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be. ”

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