He, along with with game director Luis Barriga, were two senior-level Diablo IV developers, along with World Of Warcraft designer Jonathan LeCraft, to have left the company, although no official reason for their departure was provided.
In a statement on Twitter, the Overwatch team said that it is “necessary” to rename McCree so that the hero “better represents what Overwatch stands for”.
A message from the Overwatch team. pic.twitter.com/2W3AV7Pv6X
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 26, 2021
“We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future,” the statement reads. “They are central to the game and to the Overwatch team.”
“We realise that any change to such a well-loved and central hero in the game’s fiction will take time to roll out correctly, and we’ll share updates as this work progresses.”
As McCree was planned to have a key role in the next narrative arc planned for the game, this arc has now been delayed until later this year to integrate the change, while a new FFA map will launch in September instead.
The team added that going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees. “We will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content,” the statement concludes.
The lawsuit has seen a departure of key personnel over the past month, while Activision Blizzard employees also held a walkout strike. However, California’s Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH), who has since expanded the lawsuit to include contracted workers, has also claimed that Activision Blizzard is interfering with the lawsuit through NDAs as well as shredding “documents related to investigations and complaints”.
Elsewhere, South Korea has abolished its controversial gaming curfew. First introduced in 2011, the law prohibited children and teenagers from staying up all night playing games online with their friends.