After being pressured by fans, Blizzard announced that it will give a new name to Jesse McCree, character of Overwatch. The gunslinger was named after his real-life namesake, a former leader of game design at the company and recently fired for being involved in the Cosby Suite case. The company has not yet revealed when it will announce the character’s new name, and has also said it will postpone a story arc, initially planned for September, that involved him.
McCree, character from Overwatch — Photo: Reproduction/Blizzard
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All the pressure to change the name overcame the fans barrier, and Overwatch League casters were no longer using McCree’s name in broadcasts, making the scenario nearly unsustainable for Blizzard.
— We know that any change to a central and much-loved hero takes time to get it right, and we’ll give updates as the work progresses. […] For the future, characters will not be named after employees and we will be more careful when adding real-world references in future Overwatch content — reads the company statement.
The statement goes against one of the main requests from fans: that the character be renamed to Matt Mercer, his voice actor and much loved figure in the community. Considering the care taken in adding references to the real world, it seems unlikely that this wish will come to fruition.
Blizzard employees huddle around Bill Cosby’s portrait in the so-called “Cosby Suite” — Photo: Kotaku
The infamous Cosby Suite was a hotel room where Blizzard members gathered throughout BlizzCon, hosting parties and supposedly orgies. The name was given as a reference to Bill Cosby, a comedian accused of sexual harassment.
In 2013, the real-life McCree was photographed inside his room, holding a Cosby picture with other Blizzard employees. Among the names are Alex Afrasiabi, former World of Warcraft developer who was fired in 2020 for sexual harassment; and Jonathan LeCraft, a former WoW designer, fired after photography came to light.