Overwatch has officially revealed McCree’s new name, and curiously, the studio made the switch part of the character’s story.
The new name is Cole Cassidy, and the reformed cowboy hits Overwatch on Tuesday, October 26.
“The first thing a renegade loses is their name, and this one gave up his long ago,” reads a bit of lore shared with the announcement to the official Overwatch Twitter account. “Running from his past meant running from himself, and each passing year only widened the divide between what he had been and who he had become. But in every cowboy’s life, there comes a time when he has to stop and make a stand.”
Meet Cole Cassidy.Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNsOctober 22, 2021
It’s interesting that Blizzard, instead of simply following up its statement acknowledging the problematic source of the character’s name and changing it in the next update, went with this little meta-story explaining the situation canonically.
“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 off into the sunset, and Cole Cassidy faced the world at dawn.”
The name change is part of a broader commitment from Blizzard to remove in-game references to people implicated in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. While the studio hasn’t explained the reason for McCree’s name change in explicit terms, it’s safe to assume that it’s because the character was named after the real-life Jesse McCree, a Blizzard designer who left the studio in August along with several other high-profile employees in the midst of allegations of hostile work conditions and discrimination at the company.
Here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2.