Blizzard Entertainment is changing the name of one of its iconic Overwatch heroes, McCree, since the developer he was originally named after was found to be part of the infamous “Cosby Suite.”
In the Twitter statement from the Overwatch development team put out on Thursday, they said future characters would not be named after “real employees.” This change will also delay a narrative arc featuring the character until such changes can be made. The Overwatch team said that a change will “take time to roll out correctly.”
“We believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represent what Overwatch stands for,” the statement read.
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021
Reinforcing Overwatch as a “fictional universe”
Jesse McCree, a lead level designer at Blizzard who the character McCree is named after, was let go at the beginning of August. He was included in texts and images around the “Cosby Suite,” a BlizzCon 2013 hotel suite that included a giant portrait of Bill Cosby. The picture reportedly belonged to World of Warcraft developer Alex Afrasiabi, who was named in the the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. The suite alleges that the company has fostered a “frat boy” culture that discriminated against women and minorities.
McCree was one of the original heroes and has been in Overwatch since the game launched in 2016. He has been a powerful DPS used by many players within the Overwatch League. Overwatch League casters Brennon ‘Bren’ Hook and Josh ‘Sideshow’ Wilkinson avoided using his name on broadcast earlier this month.
The Overwatch development team has seen some elements of the same culture that runs rampant throughout other parts of the company. Jeff Kaplan, who left Blizzard earlier this year, allegedly used the nickname “tigole bitties” both before and during his time at the company, according to sources close to the situation.