Blizzard has revealed the new name for the spaghetti western inspired Overwatch hero Jesse McCree. The character will now be known by the name Cole Cassidy, with the change being made by a game update on 26th October.
Alongside the character name change, players will also be given a free BattleTag change as well, something that normally costs $10 to do.
Blizzard announced that the character would be renamed back in August. The need for such a change came as the character’s namesake, Jesse McCree, left Blizzard after photographs emerged implicating him in the ongoing DFEH investigation and lawsuit.
In a new in-character statement revealing Cole Cassidy’s new name, Blizzard wrote:
The first thing a renegade loses is their name, and this one gave up his long ago.
Running from the past meant running from himself, and each passing year only widened the divide between who he had been and what he had become. But in every cowboy’s life, there comes a time when he has to stop and make a stand.
To make this new Overwatch better – to make thing right – he had to be honest with his team and himself. The cowboy he was rode into the sunset, and Cole Cassidy faced the world at dawn.
You can’t help but feel there’s a kind of autobiographical slant to the wording and phrasing of the announcement, as Bllizzard find themselves under a disreputable fog, their employees seeking to change the developer for the better.
Meet Cole Cassidy.
Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021
Up until recently, the real Jesse McCree was a Diablo IV designer, but departed the company after photos emerged of him in the “Cosby Suite” at BlizzCon 2013, a bizarre hotel room shrine to Bill Cosby that was mentioned in the lawsuit and then publicly revealed and reported on by Kotaku.
Kotaku’s reporting also implicated McCree in some of the seedy text messages that went back and forth between staff at the event, the room being that of former World of Warcraft designer Alex Afrasiabi, who was specifically named in the lawsuit and had been fired for misconduct by Blizzard in 2020.
The Overwatch Team’s decision is a sensible one to make, and could indicate that some positive changes are taking place within the company. Employees and management have had rather different reactions to the DFEH investigation, with the formation of the ABK Workers Alliance to represent workers from across Activision Blizzard and the one day walk out by employees to protest work culture and a lack of meaningful change. By contrast, executives have often sounded dismissive of the allegations, and DFEH has now amended its lawsuit to include temporary staff and claim that Activision Blizzard is imposing NDAs on its employees and destroying paperwork that could relate to HR.