Well folks, it’s finally happened: Jesse McCree is out and Cole Cassidy is in. The iconic gun-slinger’s name change follows a the uproarious controversy that emerged this past summer surrounding Blizzard’s workplace environment. A series of reports of misconduct resulted not only in the renown game company being taken to court by the state of California but also in the firing of several key developers from the studio. August alone saw the departure of World of Warcraft designer Johnathan LeCraft, Diablo 4 game director Luis Barriga, and lead game designer Jesse McCree.
Meet Cole Cassidy.
Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021
The departure of McCree is of note as it fueled fans’ demands for Blizzard to rename the iconic Overwatch character that shares his namesake. McCree was not only pictured in the infamous
alcohol-riddled “Cosby Suite” from BlizzCon 2013, but also took part in a “Cosby Crew” group chat prior to the convention. It was in this group chat that he, alongside other Blizzard developers such as disgraced World of Warcraft designer Alex Afrasiabi, engaged in alleged sexually inappropriate conversations regarding women. Following the release of this information, fans rallied on social media, demanding that Blizzard rename the iconic gunslinger. Immediately, suggestions for a potential name change began appearing on various platforms. A popular suggestion at the time was to change McCree’s name to “Matthew Mercer,” after the character’s voice actor.
Ehhh idk. Mccree has become iconic, and most people had no clue it was named after a real person
— PIT1981 (@craftydemon09) August 11, 2021
Other fans, as shown above, disagreed with the sentiment, insisting that Jesse McCree’s name should go on untouched. It seems that both sides won’t be necessarily happy nor unhappy with the middle ground Blizzard has arrived at. In fact, fans are already beginning to warm up to the character’s new name.
Unironically, Cassidy Cole feels way better to say. I don’t know if there’s a different spelling for the admittedly rare male Cassidy, but still. It feels very western, the alliteration, the very simplistic, very midwestern American feeling name. Pretty good for a good cause imo.
— AshGray2520: Former Pumpkin Lord (@AshGray2520) October 22, 2021
In addition to the change of name coming to the character on the 26th, Blizzard also plans on changing a few features of the hero’s kit. Changes will be made to the character’s Deadeye ultimate to make it even more deadlier than what it is now. The character’s roll ability will also be tweaked to allow players to roll in midair. These changes are currently available on Overwatch’s PTR (test) mode.
All of Cassidy’s changes will be arriving to Overwatch on October 26th.