Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year or so, you've without a doubt either been playing Overwatch, or at least heard of it/seen it like everyone else in the world. This miracle of a game came out of nowhere from a developer that was previously known for the MMORPG behemoth that is World of Warcraft. Nobody expected Blizzard to come out with a first person shooter and certainly not one as utterly incredible as Overwatch. Overwatch has won the hearts and souls of millions of people and even went on to win Game of the Year for 2016. A game that was born from the ashes of a seven-year-old project, this game took the world by storm and continues to captivate us and delight us with every new update. Might I also add that they are free updates (thanks, Blizzard). If you play Overwatch, then you might know that its history is quite complicated and its lore is pretty deep and detailed. There's a lot of mystery both in the story of the game and in its development. In this article, I hope to dive deep into the origins of Overwatch and maybe just teach you a thing of two about the game that you might not have known. Hopefully, I surprised you with these interesting facts about our 2016 Game Of The Year.
15 Rocket Queen
During the development of Overwatch, many changes were made as far as character names, concepts and abilities go. The most obvious character that Blizzard had in mind of making, was a rocket launcher related character that could also fly. Clearly who I'm describing is our favorite justice seeking warrior Pharah, but that wasn't always her name. As we all know, choosing a name for a character can be one of the hardest decisions in a game. I can recall countless times that I've been stuck on the character creation screen of a game, going through badass sounding names until I could finally find one that wasn't taken. Blizzard was no different in the making of Pharah. Before changing her name to Pharah, Blizzard took a more direct approach and flat out named her Rocket Queen.
14 "Beer Bottle" Hit Sound Effect
One of the most surprising, interesting and frankly completely bizarre facts about Overwatch is the origin of their hit detection sounds. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about right now since it's a sound that happens so frequently and is very easily overlooked. Some of the small details in this game were some of the most challenging and mind-boggling parts of the development process. According to Blizzard, it took them "freaking forever" to figure out the perfect sound for the games hit detection. From what I assume happened after a night of many cold ones, Blizzard chose to use the sound of a beer bottle opening, in reverse, and oh does it fit so well. I'll cheers to that!
13 Reinhardt's Ultimate
We all know and love Reinhardt. He's arguably the most loved tank in the game, and reasonably so. His big, fat shield protects us as we charge into battle and his positive, encouraging comments keep us optimistic in the most tragic of scenarios. Other than his shield, the most memorable feature of Reinhardt is his ultimate ability, Shockwave. Blizzard apparently went through many iterations of his ultimate before concluding with the famous, HAMMER DOWN! Before finally deciding on Shockwave, at one point he actually threw his hammer "thor-style" and it came back. The team ultimately decided that is wasn't believable and it made him too vulnerable since he had to wait for the hammer to come back before following up with the attack.
12 Bastion Is Voiced By Chris Metzen
Arguably the most hated character in the game and the official troll of Overwatch is without a doubt Bastion. While Bastion has produced more salty tears than any other Hero in the game, the community also has a lot of love for him. He's not only our meme generator, but he's also our trusty turret. Bastion's lines are probably some of the coolest and funniest ones in the game and, at first, you most likely assumed they were computer generated. While Bastion is without a doubt a machine, the actor that voices him is very much human. Blizzard's very own Chris Metzen is the voice of our beloved moving turret. Since Chris Metzen isn't half robot, his voice was run through various voice modulations and software plugins.
11 Overwatch Features Over 7k Voice Lines
Overwatch features an impressive amount of voice lines from some very talented voice actors. Upon release of the game, it had around seven thousand voice lines, translated into 12 languages. 84,000 voice lines is pretty insane when you wrap your head around it. It's often the very subtle details that are the most amazing parts of a game,and also the most easily missed components. Just the amount of time it took to record that many voice lines is astonishing, not to mention the amount of people they had to hire that were a good fit for the characters. Some of these voice actors will be remembered for years to come, as they've become icons more or less.
10 The Lore Is Deep
Blizzard didn't just set out to make a great first-person shooter, they set out to creative an interesting, fun and captivating world. They've clearly achieved this. Most first-person shooters that have campaigns still don't compare to the amount of rich story and detailed lore in the world of Overwatch. Blizzard has managed to teach players about the world of Overwatch without even making a campaign. Through animated shorts, comics and graphic novels, Blizzard has been creating an incredibly interesting and diversified world. Overwatch even has easter eggs hidden in certain maps and even in how some of the characters react to each other (dialogue). Out of any first-person shooter on the market, it's without a doubt that Overwatch has the most detailed and interesting story.
9 Blizzard Was Late With Their Trademark Application
A company called Innovis labs filed a trademark application for the name Overwatch in September 2013 for a paintball related mobile app. Blizzard filed a trademark application in April 2014, so there was a battle between both companies for the right to own the Overwatch name. Innovis ended up suing Blizzard for copyright infringement since co-ownership of the name would cause too much confusion between both products. In the end, a confidential agreement was made to give Blizzard the rights to the Overwatch name. Even though it's confidential, it's pretty safe to assume that Blizzard must have paid Innovis a hefty sum to give up the ownership. Innovis most likely milked this situation knowing how much Blizzard relied on the name.
8 There Is Tuns Of Blizzard Easter Eggs In The Game
Blizzard is known to reference their other games in certain projects and Overwatch is a great example of this. Not only are there player icons for World Of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft, but there are also hidden references within maps. For instance, in the map Hanamura, there is an arcade that has references to Starcraft and Heroes Of The Storm. Also, the backstory of the hero D.Va is that she was a pro Starcraft player before joining the Overwatch team. Torbjorn's ultimate ability "Molten Core" is also a reference to a very famous raid in World Of Warcraft. The map called Hollywood also has some pretty subtle references in the movie posters for Blizzard's "Lost Vikings." If you've noticed all of these references then consider yourself a hardcore Blizzard fan.
7 Overwatch's Open Beta Made History
Overwatch's open beta completely shattered records. In just seven days, over 9.7 million players joined the fight on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, making it the largest and most successful beta that Blizzard has ever had. Over 190 countries joined the fight, playing over 4.9 billion minutes and completing over 37 million matches. More than 9 million payloads were successfully delivered over a distance of 1.9 kilometers. The numbers are absolutely mind-boggling and it's no surprise that Overwatch continued to be successful after launch and then went on to win Game Of The Year. Blizzard put blood, sweat, and tears into the development of this game, and they deserve all the praise in the world for their work.
6 Overwatch Has An Alarming Amount of 'Adult' Content
Anything with enough hype and publicity, especially something animated, is bound to get adult films made of it. Right from its release, Overwatch was destined to get into the adult industry. At first, Blizzard was pretty upset about the amount of adult content and its popularity, and probably a little bit disgusted as well. Rule 34 is without a doubt in effect.
Overwatch even made the top 20 searched terms for a popular adult site in 2016. Whether Blizzard wants to see that as an accomplishment or not, it definitely happened. Blizzard first responded by taking down several popular videos, only to have them resurface. They quickly noticed that it was a losing battle and decided to let it be. Could it be considered fan art? I'll leave that up to you.
5 Overwatch Has Stunning Animated Shorts
Overwatch is without a doubt a visually stunning game as far as the animation goes. It has a very unique form of animation, setting itself apart from other animated shooters. Other than the animation in the game, Overwatch has some amazingly detailed and immersive animated short films. These short forms either focus on the world of Overwatch itself or a specific hero. These "spotlight" animated shorts about specific heroes not only provide us with detailed information on the backstory of said hero, but they also feature some amazing voice acting, story and, of course, animation. If you love Overwatch and haven't watched all or any of the animated short films, they're definitely worth the watch.
4 Zarya Was The Solution To Body Diversity
Before Zarya was introduced to the Overwatch roster, the game received criticism towards the physique of their characters. At a lecture given at NYU, the lack of diversity among the female character body was brought up as an issue. Anita Sarkeesian explained that all the female characters were skinny, long-legged and over sexualized while the male characters are more stalky, bulky and overall diversified. Whether these claims were true or not, Blizzard wanted to show that they were listening to the community and decided to create Zarya. Zarya is obviously a lot more muscular than the rest of the female characters in the game. This isn't the first time that Blizzard listened to the community and made changes within the game, which shows their commitment to their fans.
3 Bastion Ultimate Ideas
Bastion it the "click to win" character of the game that is attributed to only "scrubs" and "trolls." While Bastion is definitely a meme machine, he is actually extremely powerful if used properly in an applicable team composition/situation. Before the game was officially released, Bastion went through a lot of different changes. He was probably one of the most difficult heroes to properly balance. Many players complained he was overpowered at launch, not knowing how to properly counter him. Bastion used to have a shield in front of him that he could shoot through safely while in sentry mode. Blizzard apparently went through over 50 different iterations of his ultimate ability, including one where he could fly around shooting rockets through his shield. Now that's overpowered.
2 It Took Just 5 Months From Scratch To Make The Game Playable
Overwatch was in beta for quite a while and due to how successful and fun the game is, it seems extremely hard to believe, but the game was actually "playable and fun" in five months. From scratch, Blizzard was able to create Overwatch and make it playable and enjoyable in just five months. Crazy right? While it was "playable and fun," most of the work afterward was obviously making new characters and maps, as well as other content such as game modes. While the game was playable, most likely one of the hardest parts of development had to be balancing the different heroes and making sure the game as a whole was fair. Having a roster of completely unique heroes has got to be challenging since it's hard to tell what's fair or not until mass amounts of people actually start testing the game.
1 Overwatch Emerged From The Ashes Of "Titan"
Overwatch, the game we know and love, was born from the failure of a Blizzard project called Titan. Blizzard is well known for the Warcraft franchise and, before Overwatch, they hadn't created an entirely new franchise in over 17 years. Project Titan was a brand new superhero MMO that Blizzard had been developing for seven years until they eventually decided to cancel it. Out of the ashes of Titan, came Overwatch. Many concepts and content were transferred from the ashes of Titan into Overwatch. As far as Heroes, we know for sure that Tracer was the only surviving hero from Titan. We also know that various maps made it into Overwatch from the corpse of Titan. Although it's unfortunate that the world will never see the likes of Titan, we wouldn't have Overwatch if it wasn't for Blizzard's sacrifice.