Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.
Meet Cole Cassidy.
Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021
In the official tweet announcement, Blizzard appears to be acknowledging Cassidy’s name change as part of the game’s lore, referring to Cassidy as a character “running from his past” and ultimately choosing to “be honest with his team and himself” about who he really is.
Cassidy’s renaming was initially announced in August. The character was formerly named after Blizzard employee Jesse McCree, who exited earlier that month alongside others amid ongoing allegations of harassment and abuse at the company.
“Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real-world references in future Overwatch content.”
These moves kicked off in response to a lawsuit filed in early August by the state of California, accusing Activision Blizzard of fostering a “frat boy” culture including sexual harassment, a toxic work environment, and unequal pay between men and women.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.