It has been quite turbulent over at Activision Blizzard. Some of these wavy waters have spilled over into its games as Blizzard decided last week to rename Overwatch‘s cowboy hero Jesse McCree. McCree has been a big part of Overwatch and Matthew Mercer has been a big part of McCree as he has provided the voice for the former Deadlock Gang member since his reveal in March 2015. In a recent interview with ComingSoon, Mercer recently gave his thoughts on the name change, saying that it “needed to be done” while not forgetting those that were abused by Activision Blizzard.
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“I know this is a small consolation, but it’s one that needed to be done for a lot of people to feel comfortable moving forward with the story of Overwatch and the characters,” he said. “People have different opinions on it and some can say that it’s just a name and that it is ridiculous to change it, but it’s a name that also represents a connection to a lot of people’s pain and abuse. And if we have the opportunity to make it better and let that lie in the past and let the character live as something separate like it should, then I can’t help but be behind that.”
But this wasn’t a decision Blizzard came to without him. Blizzard actually called him to ask if he was OK with its plans, a formality that surprised him, especially since voice actors aren’t always in the loop when it comes to decisions regarding their roles.
“They called me and asked if I was aware of the situation and I said, ‘I very much am.’ And they said, ‘As a part of this process, we want to separate this character from the terrible circumstance and give the opportunity to make this right and it’s just one small way amongst many that need to be done. We just wanted to call and let you know and make sure you were OK with that.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, thank you for letting me know. That’s pretty cool.’”
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Mercer doesn’t know what the cowboy will be called, but he appeared to be more focused on the healing process the name change was part of over the name change itself.
“If it was the one thing they did, it would be nowhere near enough,” he said. “But it’s just one facet of all the things they are seemingly doing internally to try to right a lot of wrongs. I feel so much for all of the people that were mistreated and were victims of individuals in the company that abused their power and positions. My heart has been breaking since the whole thing went down.”
The nameless cowboy still means a lot to Mercer, but he said that he hopes the industry takes this awful series of events and uses it for bigger structural change that protects its workers.
“The character means a lot to me,” said Mercer. “The whole experience of Overwatch has meant a tremendous amount to me and while I’ve had nothing but positive experiences in my limited time working with Blizzard, to see all this go down has been gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. I hope it’s a very, very important change in the industry. It’s a shame that it takes the scale of misuse, mismanagement, and abuse of power to really bring a light to it, but if there’s any good that can come from this, it’s that it should shape the industry. People should really reexamine how they run their development studios and the publishing process and ensure that these people are protected and given the respect and space.”
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The real-life Jesse McCree was one of the key members embroiled in the accusations leveled at Activision Blizzard. The former Diablo 4 lead designer was seen in the infamous Cosby Suite picture and was let go in in early August. As such, Blizzard said it was no longer naming its characters after real-life people.
Fans had asked Blizzard to rename the hero. Overwatch League casters even voluntarily stopped calling McCree by his name and only referred to him with different nicknames. Blizzard said the name change will take time since it is trying to work it into the lore, but it is indeed coming.
The post Overwatch Voice Actor on McCree Name Change: It ‘Needed To Be Done’ appeared first on ComingSoon.net.
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