You can change your Battle.net name for free, if you’re quick

You can change your Battle.net name for free, thanks to McCree, erm, Cole Cassidy

In honour of a major character’s name change happening in Overwatch this month, Activision Blizzard has announced that any players who “might have the desire to do the same” will be able to change their Battle.net username entirely for free – but only within a certain time frame.

It was announced back in August that Overwatch gunslinger character McCree would be changing his name, thanks to being named after lead level designer Jesse McCree, who was let go from Blizzard in the wake of a lawsuit filed against the company by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. From this Tuesday, October 26, McCree will become “Cole Cassidy” instead.

In connection with this name change, Blizzard Entertainment has revealed that it’s giving players the chance to change their own names on Battle.net too, for free. Anyone who wants to change their BattleTag can simply head here and submit a ticket on the Overwatch support page and Blizzard’s team will process the name change within about thirty days.

There are catches to this, of course. If you’ve already got a free BattleTag name change – most players should have one by default – you won’t get another one, as they don’t stack. Furthermore, if you want to take advantage of this offer, make sure to submit a ticket by the cutoff date of November 5. Finally, some name changes just won’t be permitted, so watch the swearwords.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here. In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”.

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