Director’s Take – The next chapter in the story
“What if the cinematic is about a group of kids on a field trip in an Overwatch Museum?”
I remember this pitch from our first story discussions for the initial Overwatch announcement cinematic. This single idea shaped how we develop stories for Overwatch to this day. Until then, we had been talking about more dire and serious settings to help shepherd in this new universe, but ultimately, we realized this story—with its wholesome, brighter tones—was the way to go. In that discussion, we referenced films from our childhoods with similar vibes that focused on character, hope, and, most importantly, heart. This is what we wanted Overwatch to be. Pillars such as “a future worth fighting for” and “heroes inspire heroism” were born out of those discussions, guiding us to form the story and overall feeling of Overwatch into what it is today.
Speaking of “today” and “story,” we are on the brink of releasing our first set of Story Missions for Overwatch. For those of you who are new to the universe, or aren’t caught up on the story so far, a good place to start would be the brand-new ‘Genesis’ anime shorts, with the first two episodes out now and the third coming on July 20. These shorts will give you an overview of the early history of Overwatch, why the group was put together, and why they were viewed (for a while) as the greatest heroes our future Earth had. We’re hoping to create more content like ‘Genesis’ to continue to flesh out the universe (there’s a lot of ground to cover!) and, more importantly, propel the story forward.
Okay, back to the story so far. It’s known that the formation of Overwatch was in response to the Omnic Crisis, a global event in which a powerful artificial intelligence named Anubis took control of the omnics in an attempt to wipe out humanity. After defeating Anubis and saving the world, Overwatch expanded their mission. They became a worldwide organization made up of thousands of people dedicated to fighting for peace, equality, and prosperity for all people. This was Overwatch at their best.
Unfortunately, over time, and for many reasons, this great era of our group came to an end.
Overwatch was disbanded. The core team was forced into retirement. Some of them abided by this ruling and adapted to quiet lives as civilians. Others were less keen on keeping a low profile. Reinhardt and his goddaughter Brigitte traveled the world fighting for those in need. The superintelligent gorilla Winston isolated himself in the abandoned Watchpoint: Gibraltar facility, keeping himself occupied with engineering innovative technology and watching the world slowly drift from what it once was under their watch. Others, such as Sojourn… well, actually, I don’t want to spoil that one for you. You’ll find out a bit more about what she’s been up to when we launch her animated short, ‘Calling,’ just before the launch of Overwatch 2: Invasion. ‘Calling’ will be the final story beat that leads us up to Null Sector’s invasion and Overwatch’s response to a world under attack.
Speaking for all of us working on the lore of Overwatch, story is incredibly important to us. It’s what we discuss and refine every working day, and it is one of the key pillars of the Overwatch universe. If you are new to the game or just catching up with the lore of Overwatch, check out the media section at playoverwatch.com where there’s a bunch of story content nicely curated for you. Also, please enjoy the Invasion Story Missions launching on August 10, and all the surrounding story-based content. The teams who work on the Overwatch story put everything we have into our animated shorts, comics, novels, short stories, anime, lore, voice lines, and more. There’s still much more story developed that we can’t wait to share with you all. See you in Gibraltar!