BlizzCon 2016: Did Blizzard Subtly Tease Overwatch Animated TV Series?
Blizzard Entertainment is good at hinting, teasing, and subtly sneaking clues in the Overwatch universe. For instance, the first time we ever knew that Sombra existed wasn’t openly mentioned by Blizzard. It was actually hidden in the Ana Origin Story video (the white screen at 1:16) on Jul 12, 2016. All you saw was a white screen.
There is absolutely no hint or tease in that white screen, right? Wrong. Take that image yourself and open it in Photoshop. Then apply the Brightness & Contrast numbers shown below. You will see a hidden hexadecimal numbers. These were then translated into ASCII, then passed through a XOR cipher to reveal the words: SOMB. At minute 2:11, another clue was passed through the same process to reveal: RA. SOMB RA. And thus, began the legend of Sombra as far back as July 12.
That was subtle and took some effort to uncover. At BlizzCon 2016, Blizzard unveiled Sombra and showed us the Animated Short and the Origin Story for Sombra. If you watch the Soldier: 76 and the Ana Origin Story videos, they have a sepia filter, and they were not really animated. They were more akin to Burdens of Shaohao, Lords of War, or the recent The Harbingers series.
All of these were awesome, but they were not Animated Series proper. They were pieces of artwork changing frame to the next artwork to mimic movement from Artwork A to Artwork B. Then staying static there for a few seconds, before the next Artwork is introduced.
Sombra, however, while there are some scenes that do exactly that, there is actual animation in the cybernetic implant scene, the combat scene, and the holographic projection showing the connections between Overwatch, Blackwatch, Volskaya, LumériCo and others.
The entire thing also gives the appearance of been made through the cel animation process, and the shadows are a common technique seen in Animated TV series.
Activision Blizzard Studios recently launched a 13-episode Skylanders Academy animated series on Netflix this past October 28.
On October 29, a day later, BBCNewsbeat got the following statement from Activision Blizzard Studios CEO Stacey Sher:
Based on the popular gaming franchise, the show has been made for Netflix.
Speaking to Newsbeat, she says they’re considering doing something similar with other games they publish like StarCraft and Overwatch.
Was the Sombra Origin Story a taste of Animated TV Series coming from Activision Blizzard Studios? If not, will we see an Overwatch Animated Netflix series akin to Skylanders Academy?