Overwatch Team Announces New Name for McCree
No doubt the news regarding Activision Blizzard’s ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit has been the key focus of the company for some time now, especially since twenty employees left the company due to the ongoing harassment investigation. Jesse McCree from Overwatch was actually named after one of the key figures involved in the Cosby Suite, a group of developers, directors, and supervisors at Activision Blizzard who routinely engaged in mistreatment and harassment at the company. When news of this connection became known, the upper management at Activision Blizzard made the decision to announce that they would be changing McCree’s name to reflect the new attitude at the company against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, stating that the character formerly known as McCree needed to change “to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.”
Now, we finally know McCree’s new name, and how this name change fits into the Overwatch metaplot.
Meet Cole Cassidy: It’s 12 O’Clock
In a tweet on the official Play Overwatch twitter account, the Overwatch team announced that the new name for McCree would be Cole Cassidy. The post includes a blurb that gives a narrative reason for the name change in the grander scheme of Overwatch’s lore, stating that “the first thing a renegade loses is their name” and that Cassidy’s former name was an alias that the character adopted to escape his past, but with the formation of a new Overwatch, Cassidy was able to overcome his past deeds and come to terms with the person he is now and the person he was then. In terms of story, it’s a fairly generic redemption narrative, one that Activision Blizzard may hope rings true to their current situation and their hopes of regaining their reputation in both the industry and among their critics.
The name change also connects with some of the in-game character interactions that happen pre-match, with one of Sombra’s voice lines referencing the fact that she may know McCree’s real name, so the narrative precedent for the name change is there, and it fits well with the arrival of Overwatch 2, which should be slated for release sometime next year.
As Overwatch 2 continues the narrative of the first game, it’s likely we’ll see more character story development outside of what’s going on with Cassidy.