Overwatch players have discovered that a spray used by the gunslinging cowboy McCree, which graffitied a cartoon image of a noose on various in-game surfaces, has been abruptly and stealthily removed from the game courtesy of a new update.
The spray, which referenced the classic trope and historical practice of Wild West executions via hanging, was quietly removed from the game following Blizzard’s July Overwatch update and was replaced with a new spray featuring a horseshoe bearing the words “bad luck.”
Despite this change being rolled out with the latest patch, no mention of the spray’s removal was made in the recently released patch notes.
While an official reason for the spray’s removal has yet to be given, the noose imagery was most likely removed due to the rise of performative hyper-sensitivity by Activision Blizzard to subjects that could be considered even remotely offensive, regardless of context.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare recently saw two instances of sensitivity-based removal.
Related: Activision Removes “OK” Hand Gesture from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone, Provides No Explanation
The first saw the removal of the “OK” hand gesture emote. No reason was given for that, but it was most likely due to its false association with white supremacy, thanks to a successful 4Chan troll campaign which put forth the absurd claim.
Earlier this week, a skin named “Border War,” which clad the all-American Wayne “D-Day” Davis in police gear and a cowboy hat, was renamed.
Related: Mortal Kombat 11’s Daanish Syed Explains Why Johnny Cage’s ‘Okay’ Sign Was Changed
The new name is “Home on the Range.”
Again no reason was given, but one can speculate that it was due to the perceived offense the name could cause to immigrant groups.
Related: Report: Blizzard Forbids “Okay” Symbol in Overwatch League Arena – Claims It’s a “White Power Symbol”
Blizzard also reportedly banned the “okay” hand gesture from Overwatch League Arena back in April 2019.
Esports Reporter Rod Breslau reported at the time, “Blizzard told a fan in the Overwatch League arena they are not allowed to use [the okay symbol] for its ‘association as a white power symbol’ after they flashed it on stream and a complaint was made to the OWL account on twitter.
What do you make of Blizzard’s recent moves to Overwatch and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare?