Blizzard Entertainment, well known for its secrecy about content releases, may have just teased a new hero in Overwatch, the twenty fifth hero overall, and the fourth one to be released since the game launched a year ago. The game's fictional Atlas News Network disclosed a series of in-game emails between characters, including Dr. Winston, who raised the gorilla-scientist and fan favourite playable character, Winston. These emails dealt with a certain outbreak at the games' Horizon Lunar Colony, where Winston and other apes were raised.
The series of messages speak about an outbreak of monkeys, who had been brought up to the colony and raised there for study, in a clear homage to Planet of the Apes. The first message, shown below, hints at the gorilla uprising that ultimately destroyed the moon base.
Fans are already suspecting that this new character will be another ape - like Winston, but one altogether more unfriendly, and frankly, villainous. They even tease a name for this potential villain: Hammond. He might be a foil to Winston, akin to the relationship between other rival heroes, Reaper and Soldier: 76.
The second message gives us a hint towards the size and shape of this new character: he's small.
The character's name might also be a reference to John Hammond, of Jurassic Park fame - he was the scientist who first came up with the idea of cloning dinosaurs in Michael Crichton's book, and Steven Spielberg's movie. Blizzard is known for making sly, tongue-in-cheek references to other bits of IP in film, shows and games. Just take Junkrat and Roadhog, for example, two character's clearly inspired by the Mad Max universe.
As if this new information wasn't enough, Jeff Kaplan, the game director, announced, quite cryptically:
"there’s also some really cool hero news just on the horizon," during a live stream on Twitch.
Beyond this, Kaplan also spoke of more "core maps," for the game's quick play and competitive modes, as well as more "content" drops every month from now till the end of the year. Either way, it's clear that big things are coming to the game shortly - and it has been awhile since a new character was launched. While fans worldwide have been clamouring for DoomFist since the launch and reveal trailer for the game, two years ago, it may be that Blizzard's development team have something else in mind, character wise. A smaller character would be an interesting thing to see - potentially a new support character or a DPS, as the most recent character drop, Orisa, was a large anchor tank type.