In response to the recent controversies involving sexual harassment in the Blizzard offices, the company is changing Jesse McCree’s name to “Cole Cassidy.” McCree was initially named after a Blizzard employee who took part in the sexual harassment.
The first thing a renegade loses is their name, and this one gave up his long ago. Running from his past meant running from himself, and each passing year only widened the divide between who he had been and what he had become. But in every cowboy’s life, there comes a time where he has to stop and make a stand. To make this new Overwatch better, to make things right, he had to be honest with his team and himself. The cowboy he was rode into the sunset, and Cole Cassidy faced the world at dawn.
Developer, Jesse McCree, had left the company during the controversies around Blizzard and the “Cosby Suite.” Initially, his name was used for the Overwatch hero, as the team felt that his name was a perfect fit for a cowboy.
Cole Cassidy’s name is a retcon in order to distance the character from the real-life Jesse McCree. Presumably, “Jesse McCree” would be an alias in the same way “Tracer” is the alias for Lena Oxton.
Cassidy is a rather perfect fit for a western character, notably, Butch Cassidy, a real-life train and bank robbery in the Old West.
Overwatch’s next narrative arc was originally planned on September, which would heavily feature McCree playing a significant role in the story. However, it has been delayed to October 26 in order to weave the revelation of his real name, Cole Cassidy.
This change will also likely affect Overwatch 2 development, as well.