Overwatch’s McCree becomes Cole Cassidy on October 26

    
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We’ve known since August that Overwatch hero McCree was due for a rename, thanks to the fact that the eponymous Jesse McCree was one of the prominent Blizzard developers outed and ousted as part of the company’s sexual harassment and discrimination scandal. “[W]e 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 said at the time, admitting that naming characters after real people was a mistake. “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.”

Well, that time for that is today, as this afternoon Blizzard announced the character’s new name: Cole Cassidy.

The real-life McCree had at least five other namesakes scattered throughout Blizzard titles that will also see changes, though of course none were as prominent as the Overwatch character.

As I type this on Friday afternoon, the official website still shows McCree as, well, McCree, but we assume that won’t last much longer, as according to the company tweet, the in-game name swap lands October 26th.

Source: Twitter
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial company in the MMO and gaming space owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In the summer of 2021, the company was sued by the state of California for fostering a work environment riddled with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which has further compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. As of fall 2021, multiple state and federal agencies are currently investigating the company.
Update
Blizzard is apparently granting all players a name change too.

“As we introduce a new name, you might have the desire to do the same. Starting 22 October, 2021 and continuing through 5 November, 2021, all players will be offered a free BattleTag name change. This applies to anyone who does not currently have a free name change available. Existing name changes will not stack for future use.”

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wlados22

Cancel culture and correctness is everywhere but this society is sick

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Dobablo

Cole: Don’t know what you heard, but my name’s not Joel…

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Bruno Brito

I just realized that Blizz lost a opportunity here to call him just a title like “Wanderer” or some thing and make up a bogus homage to Clint Eastwood’s “Hero with no name”.

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Estranged

His appearance is basically a rip off, so why not?

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IronSalamander8 .

It’s good they changed the name based on what we know. I never liked this character anyway, even when I played this thing, and knowing he was named after one of several problem people just made me like him less.

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Josh

So um, apparently Cassidy Cole is a real life Adult Film Star.

Making this strangely fitting for a game with such an “extensive” online presence.

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Bruno Brito

Can’t escape R34.

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Bryan Correll

I’m pretty sure Overwatch was already heavily 34’ed.
Um…..not that I checked or anything…..
It’s just….
I’m not on trial here!

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Josh

Im pretty sure half the reason Overwatch is still relevant at all is it’s R34 XD

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Bruno Brito

It’s probably the entire reason. And to be quite honest, it’s pretty weak R34. Touhou and Fate: Grand Order got Blizzard on the ropes.

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Sorenthaz

This whole thing has been incredibly dumb. Folks aren’t suddenly going to start calling him Cassidy or whatever no matter how hard they try to shove the new name down folks’ throats.

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Bruno Brito

So, here’s the thing: They will. The same happened with Isis on Smite because her name was triggering Youtube videos for demonetization, and then they decided to change her name to the other name she has: Eset.

While it’ll take a lot of time for people to get used to, everything that he’s picked on the OWL, or in ANY official matches, players and casters WILL have to call him Cassidy. It might not be much, but it’ll have a ripple down the road.

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mike foster

Yep Dota 2 went through a long roster of renames due to legal stuff and the community eventually adjusted.

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Scott Leyes

They REALLY dropped the ball on this one. The only acceptable names here would have been either

“David Cassidy”

or

“Shooty McShooterface”

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Bryan Correll

I fully support honoring David Cassidy.

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ante b

Blizzard name has been permanently stained . They should change that as well.

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Utakata

Icestorm, Snowsquall, Winterinbuffalo…

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

einhorn is finkle is einhorn.gif
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Rndomuser

Blizzard could’ve easily prevented this by just not using any “real person”-like names and instead using class names in game, for example a “Gunslinger” instead of McCree or “Heavy” instead of Reinhardt or “Bowman” instead of Hanzo. It’s a simple FPS game, not an RPG and it worked great for TF2 (I know TF2 characters also have made-up “First/Last names” but they are not used in game itself or in videos and not used by most players).

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Bruno Brito

Indeed. I also think that i’m way more fond of the TF2 way of making classes and building upon those classes, than building characters and end up making shallow heroshooters out of it.

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IronSalamander8 .

They do this in the PvZ shooters too; the only named one is the Frost Engineer variant named AC Perry. The other 118 characters and variants are pretty simple named; Power Flower, Zen Cactus, Rock Pea, Tennis Star, Commando Ranger, Physicist, Party Brainz, and so on.

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Bereman99

That approach works up to a point.

In TF2, you have a smaller range of types to choose from, so simple descriptors like Heavy or Medic work.

But try and give simple names like that to a larger cast.

Hanzo could become Archer, and Cassidy would be Cowboy, but what about Winston? Tracer? How would you separately name similar shield bearing archetypes like Brigitte and Reinhardt? Reaper, what’s his archetype? Or D.Va? Or Junkrat? Or Moira?

Just not being named directly after real people on the development team, plus using themed nicknames for some, works fine for a hero shooter with a larger cast.

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Rndomuser

But try and give simple names like that to a larger cast.

Overwatch doesn’t have a large cast so it is easy to come up with nicknames. And many existing ones like Reaper or Junkrat or Roadhog are already fine.

Just not being named directly after real people on the development team

That’s not enough, though. For example, they came up with name “Cole Cassidy”. Not only it’s a name of a real life pornstar, it’s also a name of other real life persons, persons who can become famous for doing something bad. There is always a risk of using real life names instead of nicknames.

At the VERY LEAST the developer MUST do a basic Google search for names to make sure no real life person uses such first and last names that you want to use for in-game character.

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Bruno Brito

In TF2, you have a smaller range of types to choose from, so simple descriptors like Heavy or Medic work.

Which is a way better system than to create thousands of characters and impeding players of having any sort of character customization and loyalty, since now your character is just a function.

It’s amazing how when you go down to the meat and potatoes of it, Overwatch is a way shallower game than both Paladins and TF2.

Ozzie
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Ozzie

They kinda did that with the hamster. Named him Wrecking Ball instead of Hammond. Well maybe it’s the name of his ball, idunno it’s weird.

I almost got the feeling that TF2 characters were like clones, so it takes sense to call them their class. That would be very Valve-like.

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Danny Smith

“They could have just not-” is going to be the quote on Blizzards headstone at this rate.