Blizzard renames Overwatch's McCree, no longer naming characters after employees

Blizzard renames Overwatch's McCree, no longer naming characters after employees

US games firm Blizzard has said that it will no longer be naming its characters after its employees.

In a statement on Twitter, the developer and publisher said that it was renaming McCree from its hero shooter Overwatch. This is due to the character being named after Jesse McCree, a longtime employee at Blizzard and one of the members of staff shown in the 'Cosby Suite' picture from BlizzCon 2013.

McCree no longer works at Activision Blizzard, having been dismissed in the wake of a lawsuit brought against the company by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Prior to this he was a lead designer on the upcoming Diablo 4.

It's currently not clear what Overwatch's McCree is going to be renamed to.

"We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future," Blizzard wrote.

"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."

A lawsuit against Activision Blizzard from DFEH was filed in July, alleging that the firm fostered a toxic working culture where harassment, abuse and misconduct were commonplace.

The scope of the case has since been expanded to include contractors as well as full-time employees.

Since the case was filed, there have been a number of departures, including Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.