Overwatch and their developer Blizzard have announced that they will be changing the name of the hero formerly known as McCree. The hero was named after Blizzard employee Jesse McCree, who was previously the chief designer of Diablo 4 but is no longer with the company.
McCree’s name was taken directly from Blizzard developer Jesse McCree. However, McCree is one of three senior Blizzard executives who are no longer with the company following the California lawsuit against Blizzard for widespread sexism. When contacted for comment, Activision Blizzard declined to comment on whether McCree left the company or has been fired.
Jesse McCree was a well-known senior developer, but in subsequent investigations since the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, it was revealed that McCree was part of the “Cosby Crew”, a group of developers who would host drunken parties in their “Cosby Suite”.
The decision to change McCree’s character name isn’t the first time it’s happened in a Blizzard game as a result of the lawsuit. A World of Warcraft NPC named after Blizzard developer Alex Afrasiabi was also renamed after it was reported that Afrasiabi was also on the Cosby Suite team, and was specifically named in the lawsuit for sexual harassment in California. Blizzard fired Afrasiabi in 2020 after an internal review of its actions.
Overwatch says there’s an in-game story event scheduled for September with McCree’s participation. But to make the character’s name change part of the story, the event has been delayed and a new FFA map will be available in September.
They will no longer name the characters after the developers’ names to “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”, said the developers.