The Overwatch team finally announced today that they will officially be moving forward with changing the name of the character McCree. For those of you not aware, following the state of California suing Activision Blizzard to court over sexual misconduct allegations, three employees had been let go from the company. One of those employees was Jesse McCree, the now-former Lead Level Designer for Overwatch and Diablo 4 who served as the namesake for the character. Since a lot of the content leading to their dismissal came out, people have been petitioning to have the character's name changed.
Today, the team confirmed the move on Twitter with the statement we have for you below. There's also been a demand that the name be changed to Matthew Mercer, as a replace namesake for the voice actor who currently lends his talents to the character. We'll see how things develop as even something simple as a character name change is a major deal considering how much would need to be rebranded in the game, as well as changed voice lines and other references out in public view.
We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future. They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.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.We realize that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game's fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we'll share updates as this work progresses. In the near term, we had planned to kick off a narrative arc in September supported with new story and game content, of which McCree was a key part. Since we want to integrate this change into that story arc, we will be delaying the new arc until later this year and instead launch a new FFA map this September.Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content. This will help reinforce that we're building a fictional universe that is unmistakably different from the real world and better illustrates that the creation of Overwatch is truly a team effort.Work on these updates is underway, and they are just a part of our ongoing commitment to honest reflection and making whatever changes are necessary to build a future worth fighting for. We know that actions speak louder than words, and we hope to show you our commitment to making Overwatch a better experience in-game and continue to make our team the best it can be.