Blizzard Entertainment’s dip into the waters of the competitive shooter pool has made a big splash. Overwatch has taken a place among Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2 as a pillar of e-sports entertainment. With an average of almost 23,000 viewers on Twitch over the last month alone, it’s safe to say that Overwatch has become a genuine hit for Blizzard.
Not content to rest on its laurels, however, Blizz has demonstrated a desire to support the game for the foreseeable future with regular updates via maps, modes and characters. In fact, since the launch of Overwatch in May, we’ve seen the addition of a competitive mode (which is entering its second season), a new character in Ana, and a new map. These additions, coupled with regular updates from game director Jeff Kaplan, have enhanced an already fantastic game, and it’s hard to find anything to complain about.
But this is the Internet, and complain we shall.
Even before Overwatch had launched, Blizzard has been brilliant about doling out the lore of the world and characters in sparse, vague tidbits. Using the devastating Omnic Crisis as a backdrop, the story of Overwatch has taken a bit of a back seat to its characters.
In lieu of a detailed timeline, the developer has instead elected to hide clues in the stages and character dialogue that may hint at the larger picture. The result is twofold: it frees Blizzard from having to adhere to a strict story and allows them to focus instead on the characters. It also allows the fans to run wild with speculation.
One of the most popular topics in wild Overwatch speculation is someone by the name “Sombra.” According to the Overwatch wiki Sombra is a character with known connections to Reaper, another character and founding member of Overwatch, the titular fighting unit formed to combat the Omnic Crisis.
Hints of Sombra appeared as early as the pre-beta testing phase when pictures of these files and this newspaper began to circulate. Since then, Blizzard has been tight-lipped about who exactly the character is and if she will even appear in the game. Recently, fans found a post on the Overwatch forums that, once decoded, revealed a countdown.
It was assumed that once the countdown ended Blizzard would announce Sombra, or at least give players a date. So far, though, we have gotten exactly no new information. This video does a great job explaining the whole thing. Really, you should give it a watch because it’s simply stunning that players have decoded so much of Blizzard’s puzzle.
Understandably, a large number of the fans have become frustrated at the lack of any new information regarding Sombra. There are new rumors of an October release for the character, but this red herring has gone on for a long time and yielded nothing. It’s time for Blizzard to stop beating around the bush and make a firm announcement. Fans, especially ones dedicated enough to follow this microscopic breadcrumb trail, don’t deserve the runaround. This is like Sony refusing to reveal the Playstation 4 Neo despite mountains of evidence speaking to its existence.
It might sound selfish to demand a free update that Blizzard is under no obligation to deliver, but after all the games and the evasion on the developer’s part, it’s hard not to want a conclusion. It seems inevitable that Sombra will be announced soon, and I’m sure she’ll be a great addition to a fantastic game. But maybe Blizzard should avoid toying with players in future announcements.