If you are aware of the current legal issues facing Activision-Blizzard, you do not need me to explain why this change was so important. Jesse McREE was named after an eminent figure of the Blizzard team, which was involved in some particularly odious acts. The character of McREE was supposed to honor the contributions of this man at the Blizzard games, but honoring someone like it turned into a nightmare for public relations – and as such, something had to change. Cole Cassidy was the name chosen to represent the image of McREE in the future.
As you can expect, the introduction of Cole was more extensive than a simple name exchange. Many players were surprised to see how deeply rooted the changes, up to the sprays in the game. The dialogue lines were also re-registered, this change is as deep as possible. And now, these changes are live on Overwatch servers.
The reactions of the fans were mostly positive – while all agree that this change was probably necessary, everyone did not get used to the name. Seeing the character s surname icon on the character selection screen in the game, a user said: It looks odd. I mean, I like the name Cole Cassidy, but Cassidy itself looks a bit odd… Many have the impression that Cassidy is too feminine for a character as openly masculine as Cole.
Another user had completely opposite opinion: I like the Cassidy surname. It s a common name in many Westerns. Cole on the other hand? I do not know. It s a little lame.
Overall, a change like this will probably take some time to get used to it, no matter where you are. Character names tend to be sticky, people feel an almost instinctive desire to use the term with which they are familiar. Anyone who had to change his name or pronouns in a real context can probably testify. But no matter, the name is there to stay. The changes have been made, and now the name Cole Cassidy is also deeply rooted in Overwatch than the original name. Blizzard went to work, and they are probably not interested in this process a second time. Only time will tell us if this name is also catchy as the original.