Blizzard has announced via the official Overwatch Twitter Account that it plans to change the name of the popular character McCree.
In a statement (below), the creators 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 lawsuit against harassment and discrimination filed by the State of California against Activision Blizzard.
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While no explicit reference is made to the lawsuit and the controversy continues, the statement — posted as an image on Twitter and a separate identical press release — says that overwatch is built “around the idea that inclusivity, fairness and hope are the building blocks for a better future” and states that “in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees in the future”.
The character’s name change is part of a storyline originally planned for September, but is now being postponed until later in the year to integrate the name change.
Here is the full text of the statement:
The Overwatch team has released a statement about plans to change the name of the character known as McCree. See their message below.
We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity and hope are the building blocks for a brighter future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.
As we continue to discuss how best to live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects these values, we believe it is necessary to remember the name of the hero currently known as McCree. turning into something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.
We realize that any change to such a much-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll be sharing updates as this work progresses. At short notice, we planned to start a storyline in September, backed up with new story and game content, of which McCree was a key part. As we want to integrate this change into that storyline, we’ll be delaying the new arc until later this year and launching a new FFA map in September instead.
Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real-life employees and we will be more considerate and critical when adding real-world references in future Overwatch content. This will help reinforce that we are building a fictional universe that is undeniably different from the real world and better illustrates that creating Overwatch is truly a team effort.
These updates are in the works and are just part of our ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making all the changes necessary to build a future worth fighting for. We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our dedication to making Overwatch a better experience in the game and continuing to make our team the best we 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 in early August.
There has been no mention of McCree’s new name.