Blizzard is changing the name of Overwatch’s character McCree

    
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Over the course of the last month of the Activision-Blizzard sexual harassment and discrimination scandal, players have wondered aloud whether Blizzard would do anything to address the fact that one of Overwatch’s characters, McCree, was named after a now-former employee tangled up in the accusations. Jesse McCree was one of three prominent developers ousted from the company earlier this month as part of Activision’s purge of Blizzard middle-managers it’s holding responsible for having failed to uphold the company’s policies. According to a message to players today, Blizzard has now made the determination that McCree needs a rename, and it will necessitate a delay of content for the game as well.

“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,” the studio says.

“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.”

This is not an insignificant undertaking, as it’ll require edits and possibly rerecords of hundreds of lines of dialogue from other characters. Blizzard does say that in the future, it won’t name characters after real people – a wise rule every studio probably ought to follow.

The new FFA map referred to in the announcement, Malevento, hit the PTR today, with a planned release date of September 28th.

Worth noting here is the sharp difference in how the Overwatch team at Blizzard is handling the situation compared to Activision-Blizzard HQ, which this week stands accused by state investigators of literally shredding evidence pertinent to the lawsuit.

In other Overwatch news, the Overwatch League esports organizers announced last night that it will “pivot from live events centered around Dallas and Los Angeles and will instead return to Hawaii for postseason competition.”

Further reading:

Source: Press release, Twitter
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Bryan Correll

You do realize that the gunslinger-formerly-known-as-McCree isn’t a real person, don’t you?

Edit: Stupid disappearing post making my response not make sense….

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Utakata

…if it’s the one I saw briefly browsing here earlier, it was troll looking for a Breehammer and got exactly that. o.O

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Josh

Also not sure if you wanted a separate article for this but I figured I’d drop it here anyway:

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/news/23716421/development-update-a-message-to-the-wow-community

More dangling shit that should have been in game or planned from the beginning while going “Please forget how we elevated sexual predators to positions of power and worshiped them for 20 years. LOOK SOME NEW TATTOOS!”

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Josh

Is it time for my broken record of a comment? I believe it is.

Cool, cool hey Blizzard what about that woman you murdered?

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andistotle

This is so dumb. How much dev resources will this cost them? They should spendt them elsewhere.

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Mallus

It’s kind of ironic that they’re changing the name of a single character (which few even knew was related to an employee) when it’s been revealed that bunch of dirt bags worked for the company (Blizzard) which is now synonymous with corruption and debauchery yet will keep it’s name…

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traja

It is all performative and not about any real principles. The responsible get fired but not Kotick. Character names get changed but not the company name because brand recognition is worth a lot of money. Still it is important to recognize that purely amoral and performative actions can contribute to positive outcomes.

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Mallus

Recognition is going to cost them money at this point…

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traja

I wish that was the case but I don’t think so personally. Sure they have taken a huge dump on their brand but it is still better to have a stinky but known brand than an unknown one.

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Arktouros

I mean changing a character name? Sure, whatever. Seems like an expensive use of resources to fix something that should have never been a thing in the first place (don’t name things after RL people). There’s just way too many “and secretly they ate babies” kinda revelations for that to ever be safe.

However changing a company name would actually be entirely meaningless. If suddenly they were “Snowball Studios” instead of Blizzard everyone knows Snowball was Blizzard. You’re not pulling a fast one. “Rogue Planet Games” is still Daybreak producing Planetside 2 for a real world example. Maybe in 20 years when you have a new generation of gamers it would matter cause they wouldn’t know/remember but that’s some long game shit right and long game wise if they put out banging games no one will care what they did anyways.

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traja

The strategy would be to frame it as a symbol of turning over a new leaf for the company. Putting their sordid past behind them and embracing their future dedicated to fair practices and inclusivity. Seems like a pretty good PR move to me but I don’t think that shareholders would like it.

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Bruno Brito

Changing one name isn’t a symbol. Turning a new leaf usually involves sacrifice, and Blizzard is a multi-billion dollar company. This won’t be nearly as many resources spent as people think it will.

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traja

I was talking about changing the company name. That would be a big deal because it is one of the most famous brands in gaming. Just doing McCree is not a sacrifice of course for a multi billon dollar company.

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Arktouros

The “strategy” only works when you get people to buy into it which when they know it’s pretty blatantly a “strategy” they won’t do so. Like no amount of symbolism is going to stop people from asking for Kotick’s head. You reach a point where doing things like this have no meaningful returns and efforts and resources are better spent elsewhere like focusing up and putting out a good product that no matter how much people hate you they will still buy it.

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traja

There are of course limits to what you can achieve with PR but I don’t know if we should assume that everyone has grown cynical yet. There are probably players who are looking for a justification to feel better about Blizzard again. We wouldn’t see so much PR nonsense if it didn’t work on people.

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Bruno Brito

Yeah but those players are dwindling. The most recent Bellular’s accounting for players, skewed as it is, shows WoW with 2M or less people. I would go with the 3/4M figure. Which is 1/3 of what they had at the peak.

Turns our it’s great numbers for a MMO but it’s unacceptable for Activision and Blizzard will bleed for losing them.

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styopa

Unfortunately they have announced the new character’s name is Afrasiabi.

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2Ton Gamer

For people complaining that it’s a waste of resources, this is Blizzard we’re talking about here. They’ve wasted more on frivolous things at cons and in-office show off your big dick moments while underpaying your staff than smaller game companies can spend on their entire gaming budget to create a game. They can afford this and it’s the least they can do for being stupid enough to idolize jackasses and yes the company good will makeover shouldn’t end here.

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bahramnima

as long as that snake Bobby Kotick is still in charge i wont play any acti-blizzard game.
he knew what is happening in his so called company and he did nothing about it untill shit hit the fan, that guy is directly responsible for things getting worse and worse.
even if he did not know what is going on then it shows how stupid he is.
either way he has to go.
this name changing and sacking middle guys is pointless as long as the head of snake is still doing what he wants.

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Dankey Kang

“Going-forward, In-game characters will no longer be named after real employees”

I don’t know how that ever seemed like a good idea. Then again, the more we learn about Blizz, the more apparent it is that the company is (or hopefully was) full of perverts, narcissists and other immoral bastards.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Tons of games have characters named after employees and players. Something like this may change that habit, howevet.

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Motherball

the company is (or hopefully was) full of perverts, narcissists and other immoral bastards.

Sounds like the majority online gamers, tbh. Not surprising that a game studio is full of them, imo. They probably all are.

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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Motherball: I had a weird new guild situation this past month, like no other. A few people are only allowed to speak in Discord without pushback.

A typical conversation example might be for a person to discuss cooking, then another chimes in with their own experiences. With this guild, only one discusses it and I guess everyone else takes notes?

The core group can talk over you and interrupt as they see fit. However, the newbs are not allocated that concession. Makes me sorta sad, I really like the GM as a person. I’ve been nothing but nice to the guild and helped recruit some solid members.

Beware of “family” guilds, they are difficult to assimilate into for an outgoing person.

My wordy example illustrates a lack of social graces and clique behavior, which could be confused for narcissism. Tribalism.

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Hurbster

Bit of a waste of resources, imo.