Overwatch’s McCree will now be known as Cole Cassidy, the developers announced today, further distancing the character from former designer Jesse McCree, one of the men who took part in the controversial, recently exposed “Cosby Suite” meet-ups.
“The first thing a renegade loses is their name, and this one gave up his long ago,” the Twitter reveal reads. “Running from his 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 where he has to stop and make a stand. To make this new Overwatch better, to make things 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.”
McCree (the developer, not the cowboy) left Blizzard in August amidst a period of turmoil for Activision Blizzard as a whole. A lawsuit filed on July 20 by the state of California claimed that the mega-corporation’s leadership had negligently allowed an environment rife with sexual harassment and abuse to fester within its walls, which eventually led to several high-profile departures.
“We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future,” the game’s dev team wrote in August. “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.”
Overwatch’s next major narrative arc was delayed past its original September release date due to McCree apparently playing a large role. While details about how this name change is explained in-universe have yet to be divulged, McCree will officially become Cole Cassidy on October 26.