Blizzard has announced via the official Overwatch Twitter account that it plans to change the name of popular character McCree.
In a statement (below), the makers 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 harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought against Activision Blizzard by the state of California.
While not referencing the lawsuit and continuing controversy explicitly, the statement — posted as an image on Twitter and a separate identical press release — says that Overwatch was built "around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future" and states that "going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees".
The character's name change will be part of a story arc originally planned for September but now delayed until later in the year in order to integrate the name change.
Here's the statement text in full:
The Overwatch team has issued a statement regarding plans to change the name of the character known as McCree. Please see their post below.
We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.
As we continue to discuss how we best live up to our values and to demonstrate our commitment to creating a game world that reflects them, we believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.
We realize that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll share updates as this work progresses. In the near term, we had planned to kick off a narrative arc in September supported with new story and game content, of which McCree was a key part. Since we want to integrate this change into that story arc, we will be delaying the new arc until later this year and instead launch a new FFA map this September.
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. This will 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.
Work on these updates is underway, and they are just a part of our ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making whatever changes are necessary to build a future worth fighting for. We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it 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 at the start of August.
There's no mention of McCree's new name.
Like this would actually fix something ... Stupid change.
“Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.”
Apparently he is going to be renamed after their website designer, Fred Hitler
But McCree sounds like such a cool name.
Oh well, shame.
Man, changing a name instead of owning your exiting values and making huge lengths to change them seems the path of least resistance to me. I doubt many outside the company would actually associate the name with the dev (first I've heard of it tbh.)
No Activision, you must do better. It's a nothing gesture.
This will fix nothing and the people who defend decisions like this are part of the problem and the people who get super angry about it and argue with them are part of the problem. You see this kind of stuff is done to keep every one distracted with nonsense like this instead of paying attention to the real issues; the alleged harassment. lol
This is how so many of these companies get themselves out of hotwater. They basically piss everyone off with nonsense PR stunts like this.
Just name him Pancho Pistolas and be done with it
alternatively, Activision Blizzard can save face by firing all perpetrators in their company, blacklisting them from video games, and force Bobby Kotick to step down.
this? this is just cheap PR.
“We want to design a game that is inclusive and tells a story of a promising future for our species and our planet. Since human beings are horrible monsters, with none of the qualities we strive to portray, we will no longer be naming our characters after real people. That is all”
Welp. That's that
I'm sure like in times past, they'll also announce he's gay or some such and go "Look, inclusive" like they did the last time they got in hot water
The name just reminds me of Mad Dog McCree.
Changing the name won't do anything. People who don't know about the issues will wonder why the name change now and the majority (like myself) doing this isn't solving the issue.
Not sure if it is true or not but I heard that the HR destroyed evidence because the destroying the evidence is a much less punishment then what the evidence showed.
Fix the root cause of things instead of the surface level bs. Alot of people can see through your bs and are not going to comeback to your games and future ones (this is one of the reasons many WOW players abandoned ship and jumped to FFXIV).
@FineLerv Me too, the guy looks like a cowboy, why not say it was named after that game?
***** distractions from a company that still thinks it’s too big to fail despite ever increasingly becoming nothing but a bad joke.
@AugustusOxy and judging by some of the comments so far: mission accomplished. Full PR stunt.
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This is bizarre. Did ANYONE think McCree was named after an employee and not, ya know, a generic cowboy name i.e. Mad Dog McCree?
The problem is the harassment and assault endemic in the culture in their workplace, not in how they portray their characters. It’s such a strange way to call attention to it. It’s not even virtue signaling. I’d prefer they made McCree a harasser only the game and virtually lynched him... at least it would show some conviction.
@KillerBOB I’m dead hahahahaha
I’m surprised they are doing this before the lawsuit is finished. That’s what I always found so weird and dangerous about cancel culture. It seemed like companies were always punishing people before lawsuits were even finalized. Imagine if it was proved that the person wasn’t involved in the harassment?
Blizzard has been accused of shredding evidence in light of the lawsuit. And yet, they put on this pathetic PR stunt. I don't want McCree's name to change. I don't care who the developer was. The character has been developed and is beloved by the fanbase. This is just a silly distraction.
Why??? What has he said then?
Or does that not even matter.... Maybe everyone can be accused of WRONG THINK!!!
chaging this character name will not redeem Activision Blizzard of the horrible harassament culture they have in the company.
One of the many stupid things Blizzard did is removing the Swifty (very influential wow player) NPC from the game just because he was targeted by some chick for "harassing" her (years ago!) which was NEVER proven or anything like that.
I expected a comment section basically calling them out for trying to sweep the harassment under the carpet. I did not expect people defending said harasser. Stay classy NLife.
Any fellow Brits remember the sitcom Bottom? Remember Eddie's full name?
@nessisonett It boggles my mind that a site for Nintendo - the first name that comes to many people's minds when they think of fun gaming - regularly attracts comments like you described... and worse.
@Matroska Oh yes I do!
I don't see what changing the name will achieve. I thought for the longest time that it was just a generic cowboy name...Because it is.
Should have just kept it and distanced from the actual person. If anything, this is only going to draw more attention given I guarantee the vast majority of people didn't know he was named after somebody in the first place...or maybe that's the point, to draw attention to how cool and loving ActiBlizzard are wretchs.
@Zuljaras When everything is stagnant, there is no history to be told. Changing the name, and remembering the reason for the change, is what makes this an important history lesson.
@nessisonett defending the character, not the real life person.
Stay classy with your bold and radical assumptions.
This is lazy from activision. They should’ve changed their disgusting work culture before even thinking of doing anything like this
I know a lot of people see this as a meaningless PR stunt. Obviously it doesn't amount to much on its own, but it's still a good step. I don't think anyone believes that it solves the whole problem. There are thousands of people working at Blizzard who had nothing to do with the harassment or are victims themselves. This is for them too.
Yay for revenge!
@diegoarthur nobody will remember why they changed it. Almost nobody even knew who was the reason he was called that. Same with renaming the wow npc Fras Siabi in Stratholme.
Pointless PR and nothing more.
At least rename him to something with purpose like Cubey Crawlerton.
"Here's Ronald 'Hip' Nolan Cosby, or Hip for short. We like to call him Rohypnol Cosby, though."
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I pointless and useless gesture. This name no longer belongs to this person, it belongs to the character. No one is going to remember that McCree is named after a developer who's behavior was guilty until proven innocent and resolved outside of the public eye. Most OW gamers will likely have no idea and have had no idea that McCree was ever named after anyone at blizzard.
I always thought he was named after Mad Dog McCree, the old FMV game
"BREAKING NEWS: the real life McCree changes his name. Also Colin McRae changes his name. Also also, the Kree race changes its name."
PR keeps any industry afloat. For better or for worse.
Cancel culture is a metaphorical cancer, make no mistake about it. Of course, the group chat is quite the damning evidence in this regard.
the vast majority of the comment section is people criticizing it for being a hollow gesture, unless there were a bunch of comments defending said harrasser which got deleted (though with deleted messages being labled it seems like there was only one deleted one)
Honestly I never knew he was named after a Blizzard employee, and I doubt many others did. I am still going to call him McCree. That would be like someone coming along saying oh we don't like the name of Mickey Mouse after using that name for years, let's change it.
I assumed it was because they were being sued by American Laser Games or Digital Leisure for copying Mad Dog Mccree what with it being a similarly named western gunslinger type character.
@Zuljaras I replied to the first poster, who said: “Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.”.
When you say nobody new the reason for the change, that means they did not know the history, and they would repeat it anyway.
If people don't know history, it does not matter if the name has changed or not. So I say just change the name of the character that was clearly named as a homage to a bad person.
Typical Blizzard, they are going to remove the sexy female characters, the sexual jokes and the references to former employees, and also remove the things that were OK in the 1990s and early 2000s but are considered racist and offensive now, but they aren't actually going to solve the problem of harassment and rape for the female workers, and the problem of abuse and overwork for all workers, Blizzard once again being nice, friendly and beautiful on the outside, but still rotten on the inside.
Quick draw McCraw
@diegoarthur it is just a name and nothing more. Trying to "erase/fix" what happened with a stupid name change will not do a thing.
It will not protect people from future abuse etc.
They are trying to forget that this person worked there which is not a good thing. They need to remember that and just try to be better because of it.
@Zuljaras Name changing is not erasing history. It's just stopping honoring people that on day were thought as good. Never heard about streets that were named after racist guys back in the 1800s and recently had their names changed?
It will not alone stop the abuse, sure, but is one step towards a better society.
I didn't even know he was named after a dev, This is stupid, yall put your self in this mess and you think changing a name of a few pixels on screen is enough to make up for what you did then your not sorry.
@Tasuki Or changing Disney's name. bc we found out Walt was evil or somthin.
@AlexSora89 Nice Cosby joke, kinda surprised it didn't get taken down. 😃 Though at this point I kind of view people who use the term "cancel culture" as more of a cancer than the actual cancel culture. Same for "woke". 😝
@jm816 Wow, thank you for restoring my faith in... well not humanity b/c humanity is doomed, but the NL readership.
Do we know this is a "PR stunt", handed down from on high, rather than say maybe the devs wanted to do it b/c they don't like the guy?
@diegoarthur that definitely would not make a better society.
Canceling a simple name is idiotic and PR stunt.
As for "Never heard about streets that were named after racist guys back in the 1800s and recently had their names changed?" I never heard about that and if I did I would be against it as well. Modern society just has this one simple "solution", simply cancel everything they associated with bad stuff. That is why nothing will ever change, because people like to live in their "safe" spaces and their pink bubbles far away from the hurtful words.
@Zuljaras The idea that we have to continue to enshrine racists and predators or else repeat history is just silly and untrue.
@Zuljaras Why are the bubbles pink?
@nessisonett because the pink is associated with happy stuff. At least in my culture
Is there a better colour?
@Zuljaras It’s just a bit of a random adjective I dunno 😂
@nessisonett never heard of "Take of your pink glasses and wake up!"?
Wearing pink glasses is associated with people seeing everything as they want it.
I’d like to think myself a huge overwatch fan and Mccree main. I usually just play the games and stay away from all the politics. I never even would have known why they changing his name if I hadn’t hopped up on this website. If the dude did some messed up thing and was found guilty , blizzard should have fired him and apologised to their current staff. Casual players are just gonna wonder what the hell they changing mccree name for?
blizzard is nothing more then a dying animal with 2 different types of cancer warring against each other within it at this point.
For me McCree is Overwatch McCree. I don't know any other Cree and i will not call him by any other name. It's ***** what happend and still happens at Blizz, but i'm sure that not a single OW fan that care about the game will se this change as anything more than appeasing twitter knights, that have nothing to do with the game or community. Same story pre launch, where the fems got mad at tracers ass in the victory pose...
@jm816 "I don't think anyone believes that it solves the whole problem."
that's true, but there's a "we've seen this before" vibe from this gesture. game company is rife with history of abuse, game company issues PR department approved apology, game company issues token gesture, and the whole thing is forgotten.
the overall response to McCree's name change feels more like "you're not walking away from this one that easily, Blizzard."
@Matroska Hahaha That was a great show! God Bless Little Rik!
@CharlieGirl I hear you, and I don't disagree with the sentiment. I don't necessarily think this is a PR move so much, though. It calls stark attention to an issue a lot of people aren't even aware of, and the community reaction is predictably angry (for both the right and wrong reasons). I can't say what the end result of that is, but it seems too risky to simply be a form of PR damage control. This actually feels like a principled stance by one development team to remove a tribute to an abuser, but I'd also like to think that it's understood among all parties that that alone is not justice, nor enough to fix the company culture.
@Zuljaras Ohhhh, that’s actually interesting, the similar expression we use over here is ‘rose-tinted glasses’ which is obviously the same thing!
I honestly just figured they'd slightly change his name
This comment section is the reason why this stuff just shouldn't be the topic of articles on this site. We can seek this out on our own if really want to find out. It's just better to stick to game announcements, reviews, and fluff pieces for when there aren't any games to announce or review. Basically stuff that is trivial and any arguments about them will be trivial. Nintendo life really should stick to the basics. Not because I think the staff is dumb, just avoids any legitimate unpleasantness.
Better think twice about doing it.
Good luck trying to execute a rename in that narrative with an iconic character. I wonder how this will go with the fanon.
If I were working on the Overwatch dev team, I probably wouldn't be thrilled to work on a hero character my bosses named explicitly after a douchebag who harassed me or my co-workers.
Maybe the 400 word statement makes it seem like they're pumping it for PR, but it can also just be a good change to make.
@Carck Like all those people named Alexa that are super stoked that their name is a product
Pretty gross to see Blizzard sweeping their stories under the rug with minor cosmetic updates like this.
Not sure how this name change announcement on its own is proof that this will be as far as it goes; whether they take the necessary steps or not, this change was inevitable. They can do this, and still take further steps if they decide to go down that path; alternatively, they could decide not to. Either way, it's impossible to tell from this announcement alone what they'll do, beyond what was stated in this announcement.
@nessisonett I think I read two comments defending “innocent until proven guilty”, so maybe that is what you would call people defending him. Other than that, they are just comments saying this is a PR stunt that means nothing for changing the actual culture of the organization. Not sure what is wrong with that opinion, but feel free to debate those people.
@ImmortanJho what am I missing here?
1. You can skip the articles. NL doesn’t need to stop posting them.
2. Who is defending the accused specifically? I only see people calling it a PR stunt, a pointless move as no one knew the history of the character in the larger player base, or defending “innocent until proven guilty” (which is not the same as defending the person)
If it were my game, I’d change the name. That said, I also know most people don’t care or know who the guy is.
This is just PR ***** as usual.
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@nessisonett Isn't it worthwhile to at least wait until it has been settled in a civil lawsuit, before passing judgement? Unless it's proven in court, I don't know if he harassed a person or not. There's nothing wrong with waiting for the right evidence.
@diegoarthur If streets are to be renamed, then why don't they remove some of the faces of old Presidents from dollar bills? You know, the old slave owners that founded the country? Speaking strictly of the US, of course.
@BloodNinja I think they should, indeed. I am not an US citizen, though. Here in Brazil the old white president faces were removed to give place to a fictional woman that represents the republic. Not perfect, but better than the old folks with dubious opinion.
So is there leverage to change names of characters if they're loosely connected to bad people in name alone?
Like, is a Duke goes on a killing spree, why would it be out of line to change the name of Duke Nukem to avoid the connections?
@diegoarthur I’m not sure it even matters, to be honest. Remove old faces, new ones will take up the mantle of corruption.
@My_ultimate_is_ready - Doesn't the gesture essentially tell the people the dev in question has more control of the character than Blizzard does?
Like how people want Earthworm Jim to die with its creator, Doug TenNepal, because the creator is such a spiteful butthole. But when he dies, like when the dev would retire or essentially fade from games, Earthworm Jim is essentially still here. still around, and TenNepal's history is going to fade while Jim's remains as long as people play the games.
It becomes his to take, even though the character remains unchanged. He will always be "McCree" to the core, even if you put lipstick on a pig to parade it as something else.
This ***** luckily is eating itself all over the world. Just grab some popcorn and watch the world burn.
@BloodNinja Who cares, these old guys replaced a king, and we can replace them. It’s called progress. We shouldn’t stick with old idols, but I can agree that idols as a whole is a bad idea. Put my face on the 20.
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This is really stupid
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