Overwatch – “Cole Cassidy”Published November 2, 2021
Say goodbye to McCree and give a warm welcome to Cole Cassidy. The name change has received mixed reactions from fans, but there’s little doubt that this was a necessary step to contain the rapid deterioration of Blizzard’s public image.
Overwatch players are no doubt aware that the game’s cowboy-themed playable character ‘McCree’ was in the process of a name change for the last few months. This is due in large part to backlash against the name as it is shared with a former Blizzard employee who is named in a lawsuit filed in the state of California by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard relating to accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Players and streamers were avoiding or downright refusing to play as Mcree or even use the name. So with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Blizzard would simply have to change it.
The most recent update released just a few days ago has finalized the changes, and the cowboy character is now named “Cole Cassidy.” The name ‘Cassidy’ is very likely meant to evoke the notorious 19th century Wild West outlaw, Butch Cassidy, who along with the Sundance Kid robbed banks and trains in the United States, Argentina, and Bolivia. Apparently, it’s not just his name that was changed, his voice acting and lines, along with some of the character’s emotes and interactions have been changed.
While many have noted that the name ‘Cassidy’ is a far better choice as far as it comes to naming a fictional cowboy character, there’s a fair number of players that are not necessarily resistant to the change, but don’t particularly feel excited about the change because it will take a very long time to get used to it. To be honest, after calling him McCree for over 6 years, it’s not going to come naturally to a lot of people to remember that the name has been changed.
It should go without saying that there are also some players that will continue to call the character McCree simply out of protest because they disagree with the necessity of changing the name, after all, it’s just a name. Just because the character’s name is the same as a disgraced former employee doesn’t necessarily also mean that the company is endorsing his behavior or actions. That being said, it’s no surprise that in order to avoid controversies such as this in the future, Activision Blizzard will no longer be naming any new characters after current or former Activision Blizzard employees.
Aside from this, the update also fixes a few bugs, including one that caused players to not receive full credit towards matches played when playing Junkenstein’s Revenge. The remaining bug fixes focused on issues with various heroes, such as a bug that caused Brigitte’s mace chain to appear the wrong color when certain skins are equipped, and another that cause Mercy’s ‘Valkyrie’ ultimate ability sounds to not play properly. An issue causing Soldier 76’s ‘Grillmaster’ intro to be erroneously unavailable was fixed, along with another bug that was causing D.Va’s ‘Black Cat’ skin to have a missing decal.
Developed and published by Blizzard, Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person-shooter available for play on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, and Nintendo Switch. Released in 2016, the game is Blizzard’s fourth major game franchise after its very popular game series, Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft. A sequel to Overwatch is currently in development and is expected to be released sometime in 2022, although the exact date of release is still yet to be announced.