Overwatch’s outlaw bounty hunter, Jesse McCree, has a new name: He’s Cole Cassidy now, developer Blizzard Entertainment announced via Twitter on Friday. That new name will start appearing in Overwatch on Oct. 26.
Blizzard changed McCree’s name as part of a broader plan to remove references to real-life developers and former employees of the studio in the wake of a lawsuit. In July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued parent company Activision Blizzard, alleging it had fostered a “frat boy culture” that subjected female employees to sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination.
Developers on World of Warcraft and Overwatch have since pledged to remove references to anyone implicated in the lawsuit — including renaming characters and locations named after employees. That includes former Blizzard Entertainment employee Jesse McCree, whose name was borrowed for Overwatch’s gun-slinging cowboy hero.
In August, the Overwatch development team announced it was changing McCree’s name. The team said in a statement that “it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.” The change, developers said, would impact the planned rollout of an in-game narrative arc that would have focused on McCree.
“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,” developers said.
That pledge already extends to Overwatch 2, which previously featured references to former Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan. Kaplan, who left Blizzard Entertainment in April, was referenced on signage in a pizza shop on the sequel’s New York City map, which has since been revised.
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