Blizzard will rename Overwatch cowboy named after fired designer

Blizzard will rename Overwatch cowboy named after fired designer

Video game image of a grizzled Old West gunfighter.Enlarge / The cowboy formerly known as McCree is currently the “Man with No Name.”

Overwatch’s cowboy is getting a new name.

This is Blizzard’s latest attempt to salvage its image. The studio is dealing with a lawsuit filed by the State of California in July over employee claims of sexual discrimination and harassment, and its recent public defense was ill-received. The cowboy’s namesake was Diablo 4’s former lead designer Jesse McCree, who was fired after images showed him inside “the Cosby suite,” where female employees reported they were harassed. The announcement comes a day after the Golden State accused the company of shredding HR documents in an amended complaint.

The cowboy McCree is a gun-for-hire loner in Overwatch lore. In-game, one interaction jokingly casts doubt about McCree’s first name being Joel, but it was officially Jesse.

Blizzard's statement in full.Enlarge / Blizzard’s statement in full.

The change is not insignificant, causing a delay to new story content previously scheduled for September. In its statement, Blizzard set a vague date of later this year for that expansion. In the interim, Overwatch players will receive a new FFA map next month instead. Furthermore, no characters will take the name of employees going forward. Blizzard’s Twitter post reads, “… we’re building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world” and is “an ongoing commitment to honest reflection.”

There’s no word on potential new names for McCree, but Blizzard’s posts says they will keep the community updated as these changes are put in place.

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