New ‘Overwatch’ content delayed to accommodate McCree name change

New Overwatch content has been delayed due to controversy surrounding the in-game character based on disgraced ex-Blizzard game designer Jesse McCree.

It has just been announced that some new Overwatch content has been delayed due to the ongoing controversy at Activision Blizzard. The American video game developer/publisher is currently under investigation for its toxic workplace culture and sexual harassment allegations, at the centre of which are various high-profile employees (some of which have since been dismissed).

Jesse McCree was a game designer at Blizzard who worked on titles such as World of Warcraft and Diablo III. Despite not contributing to Overwatch in an official capacity he was thanked in the credits, and used as the inspiration for the gun-slinging character that shares his name.

jesse mccree
Image: Jesse McCree / Blizzard

When the allegations surfaced, and McCree was identified as being at least complicit, many Overwatch fans called for the game’s character to be renamed. While it has taken some time, Blizzard have reportedly been busy with the paper shredder, the Overwatch team have responded with the following Tweet:

The statement starts by claiming that values of “inclusivity, equity and hope” are central to the ethos of Overwatch, as well as the team behind its development. It’s difficult to evaluate such a sentiment considering what has unfolded. Nonetheless, I think its fair to say that much of what the tweet refers to (the game’s diverse range of characters for example) seems like cynical window dressing now.

The announcement goes on to explain the team have decided to delay the release of some nearly completed content because the Jesse McCree character was an integral part of its narrative. Their intention is to come up with a narrative reason for Jesse McCree being booted out of Overwatch permanently.

Image: Overwatch / Blizzard

While this delay may prove disappointing for fans it seems like the only way forward; other than the more radical solution of renaming McCree without any narrative reason – which might be acceptable considering the circumstances.

Either way Overwatch fans shouldn’t expect any new story driven content until later in the year. As a bit of a peace offering though the Overwatch team are planning to release a new FFA map in September.

What all of this means for Overwatch 2 is yet to be made clear. Although I think it’s safe to assume McCree will be long gone by that point.