We’ve known for a few months now that one of Overwatch’s original characters, the gunslinging cowboy Jesse McCree, was due for a name change. Blizzard has now announced that the character formerly known as McCree is now named Cole Cassidy, with the change officially being made to the game on October 26.
Meet Cole Cassidy.
Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021
Cassidy’s original name came with a lot of baggage. He was originally named after former Blizzard developer Jesse McCree. When Activision Blizzard was hit with the California DFEH lawsuit earlier this year, detailing an alleged “frat boy” culture full of discrimination and harassment, McCree was implicated as a participant in the “Cosby Suite” and let go from the company soon afterwards. Shortly after, amid calls from fans for a name change for Overwatch’s cowboy, Blizzard promises that a name change was coming.
The name change comes amid a narrative beat, with Cole Cassidy shedding his outlaw name and embracing what he was once called. The full statement on the tweet reads:
The first thing a renegade loses is their name, and this one gave up his long ago.
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 when 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.
Cole Cassidy goes live in Overwatch on October 26, forever renaming the classic Overwatch cowboy character to remove his connection to a problematic ex-Blizzard dev. It’s currently unknown how this name change will impact in-game voice lines and other elements that name Cassidy as his former name.
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