Is Overwatch building up to something bigger? Despite criticisms for a lack of a dedicated story mode, it appears that Blizzard Entertainment is in fact planning some kind of Overwatch narrative. However, instead of simply launching it with the game itself, the studio opted to build out the world and its heroes first. Despite this piecemeal approach, it all has apparently been in service to a larger story that will soon reach its culmination. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Blizzard was heavily inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Describing all of the Overwatch media as a “phase,” similar to how Marvel operates, Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu sees all of this lore-building as laying groundwork for a bigger story. There’s no clear indication of when or in what form we’ll see this narrative, but we’re evidently heading towards something big. And when we ultimately do get it, it looks like it’ll mark the next chapter of Overwatch’s life.
When speaking about Blizzard’s goals for the narrative, he noted, “We feel like that phase is coming to an end. We’ve moved a lot of the pieces that we need to explain into place.”
If and when this grand narrative comes to fruition, it would address one of the biggest complaints from the Overwatch fanbase. Ever since it launched in 2016, the hero shooter has gotten repeated criticism for its lack of a dedicated story. Rather than putting it in the game proper, lore-related material has instead been released in the form of supplemental works like short films and comics.
The only time Overwatch itself dabbles in any story-related material is during its annual “Archives event,” with 2019’s being the Havana-set “Storm Rising.” While almost all of the Overwatch stories we’ve gotten are set in the past, the recent “Bastet” story does take place in the present. In fact, it could signal the beginning of a new direction for Overwatch lore, leading to this “culmination” that’s been teased.
While a big story is promised, how we’ll get it is unknown. Will it be a part of an Overwatch update, or maybe even a separate product? What would you want from this Overwatch campaign of sorts? Is it too little, too late? Let us know!