Overwatch has been around since 2016 and so has Wild West-themed cowboy McCree. He’s been shooting up the competition as a Damage type for the last few years, notably as one of the easiest characters for newcomers to pick up when starting in on the hero-shooter. But with that popularity comes increased scrutiny, especially in a year when social issues have risen to the forefront of the daily news cycle. So it’s no surprise that a questionable aspect of McCree’s character assets has been changed by Blizzard Entertainment, and it’s equally unsurprising that some people are mad about it.
One of McCree’s unlockable Sprays, or decals that players can use in-game, has long been a noose. Some claim it fits his Wild West aesthetic, though most folks rightly point out that, yeah, it’s for hanging folks; there’s really no other use for it. So in 2020, where lynching is apparently still a thing, the virtual Noose spray is going bye-bye, replaced with a “Bad Luck” horseshoe. It’s not the best change — some level-headed folks in the comments pointed out that Blizzard could have opted for a lasso instead — but it’s a necessary one, especially if other players are being harassed or bullied through its use in-game.
Here’s how the news broke:
In today's update, the Overwatch McCree "Noose" spray has been removed and replaced with the "BAD LUCK" spray. pic.twitter.com/rpMAfJlB2y
— Naeri X 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) July 15, 2020
But it doesn’t end there! Fans and critics of the game alike are now turning their attention to the police skins for Overwatch characters Brigitte and D.Va. The characters are seen, divisively so, as both proud representations of their nation’s law enforcement and examples of glorified and militarized police brutality. Overall, the game essentially pits elite, super-powered “world police” against each other in an endless cycle of violent, murderous fashion for fun, so Blizzard has the option of either staying quiet and making these small half-measures, or actively rethinking their game’s core story and how it fits into an increasingly volatile real world.