A job opening for the Overwatch 2 team seems to openly explain the story behind the upcoming sequel.
The Overwatch members are coming together to fight a new Omnic Crisis by Null Sector. But not the same Null Sector of Uprising in King’s Row. This new Null Sector is invading several nations around the world.
The brief paragraph describing the story gives better context than what the developers actually said about the story in the BlizzCon 2019 Overwatch 2 panel. You can read the panel transcript here.
In Overwatch 2, the nations of Earth are under assault. As the omnic forces of Null Sector launch a barrage of surprise attacks around the world, the planet’s governments and militaries prove quickly outmatched—and the remnants of the fearless strike force once known as Overwatch rally to make a valiant stand. Now the world’s heroes must each decide whether to answer the call to reemerge, reunite, and serve as a beacon of hope in a new era of crisis.
We are seeking a talented, motivated, and experienced EngineSystems Engineer who shares our values:
We take responsibility for delivering our work.
We collaborate constantly, helping each other to be successful.
We continuously improve our knowledge, workflows and processes.
We communicate openly, calling out issues, opportunities, and sharing feedback.
We have integrity, maintain confidentiality, and share a sense of ownership in our success.
We have passion for the game, our players, quality work, and technology.
This philosophy, along with the Blizzard values of “Gameplay First” and “Play Nice, Play Fair,” has made Overwatch one of Blizzard’s most successful games, and it has forged a bond of trust with our worldwide player community that is extremely important to us.
Our ideal candidate has a passion for games and developing systems on multiple platforms, working in areas like core architecture, scene management, memory management, data storage and delivery systems and formats.
Chip in to the development and discussions surrounding overall engine architecture
Collaborate with designers, artists, and engineers to develop and refine key systems which used by multiple game titles
Design, implement and develop tools for designers and artists, including platform specific engine implementation
Maintain tools for performance, stability, and error-free operation
Identify and resolve pipeline issues and discover opportunities for improvement
A minimum of 3 years’ experience on at least one shipped title
C++ and object-oriented design skills
Experience working with game engines or real-time kernels
Good understanding of game content pipeline and tools
Ability to collaborate with technical and non-technical teammates
Self-motivated and a great teammate willing to pitch in on many areas of development
Passion for writing clean and performant code
Experience with rendering, shader development, and graphics hardware and API’s
Knowledge of animation, camera control, and lighting
Interest in workflow automation
Blizzard Entertainment is a global company committed to growing our employees along with the business. We offer generous benefits and perks with an eye on providing true work / life balance. We’ve worked hard to foster an intensely collaborative and creative environment, a diverse and inclusive employee culture, and training and opportunity for professional growth. Our people are everything. Our core values are real, and our mission has never changed. We are dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences…ever. Join us!
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Starting with Patch 1.45’s Season 21, Blizzard Entertainment plans to add Hero Pools. The new feature is not set in stone for future competitive play seasons, but it is a possibility.
So what are Hero Pools? Basically, not all heroes will be available to be played. Only a select group of heroes will be available, and that Hero Pool changes every week.
In a sense, this could give a well-deserved fresh air to the game. Wouldn’t you love a week where those terrible sombras or widowmakers can no longer ruin your matches and SR? How about a week without annoying punch-to-the-face Doomfists?
What about a whole week without Hamster!
Are you a Reaper who hate when Brigitte counters you hard? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a full week with Brigitte disabled? Ahh, now you are starting to get it.
Well, Hero Pools seems like a good direction. At least on paper. Let’s see how it works out in the battlefield.
Blizzard Entertainment listed an upcoming book titled The Cinematic Art of Overwatch — by Jake Gerli (author) and Matt Burns (contributor). The book is slated to ship on October 20, 2020 for $45. It is currently available for pre-order.
Starting with the announcement trailer in 2014, Overwatch’s award-winning cinematics captured the hearts of millions across the world, introducing them to a hopeful science-fiction world where heroes are needed.
Crafting these animated shorts required the Blizzard cinematics team to explore new ways of animated filmmaking with a bold new art style, more frequent releases, and intimate collaboration with the game team. The Cinematic Art of Overwatch chronicles this journey, featuring never-before-seen art and anecdotes that illustrate how Overwatch’s richly imagined characters and world were brought to life through cinematic storytelling.
Narrator: Welcome to the Overwatch: What’s Next panel [Music]
Jeff: What’s up everyone? Long time no see. Ah, so I’m Jeff.
Aaron: –and I’m Aaron.
Jeff: So, okay. So Aaron… very humble. So how many WoW fans are here today?
Aaron: Oh my God.
Jeff: Okay. I’m not making this up, you can you can watch this on YouTube. Erin is the gentleman who made Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, Ironforge, Darnassus for World of Warcraft. For those of you who are Overwatch fans… what is the best map in Overwatch? Aaron made King’s Row. Okay.
Aaron: Thank you, yeah for all of that, and he’s not embarrassing at all.
Jeff: No not embarrassing at all; and he prefers to be called A-A-Run. Everyone’s been pronouncing it wrong all these years.
Aaron: (laughs) You can ask my mom. Yeah, okay.
Jeff: So, Overwatch 2. We’re talking about it in detail now.
Aaron: I’m so, so excited to talk to all of you about Overwatch 2. We said it in opening ceremonies. It’s so hard not to be able to talk about it with friends and family, and actually use the name Overwatch 2; but here we go.
I was watching the latest Netflix show Daybreak, Season 1: Episode 1 – Josh vs the Apocalypse when out of the blue a guy arguing about swords and guns asks the school director which he would pick. Matthew Broderick answers:
Matthew Broderick: “I don’t know, Wes. I usually play Sombra in Overwatch.”
Boy: “He plays as a girl?”
Matthew Broderick: “Sombra has thermoptic camo. I like that. You can’t hit what you can’t see.”
UPDATE (March 5/2020): The release date has been pushed from May 5 to June 2, 2020.
UPDATE (11/19): The high-definition cover has been added to Amazon today for the first time since the BlizzCon reveal.
UPDATE (11/16): The cover of Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani was revealed at the BlizzCon 2019 panel: The Writer’s Room: Building the Worlds of Blizzard.
In 2018, I attended the New York Comic Con to visit Scholastic’s Women of AFK panel. During the Q&A, I stepped up to ask Chloe Fraboni (Scholastic, senior editor) if there were any plans to publish books based on Blizzard IPs.
Her response was a bit cryptic: “We have some new stuff going on with Blizzard that I can’t say what property it is for. But I am really excited about it.”
In the NYCC 2018 article, I did note that while she did not specify what this upcoming book property it was for, during the panel she admitted she had visited the Blizzard Entertainment campus, and met her dream developer: Jeff Kaplan, and she mentioned she was an avid Overwatch player. From the get-go, this signaled to me later that the property they were working on was Overwatch. My speculation turned out to be true. You can pre-order The Hero of Numbani now (Kindle + Paperback).
Funko announced recently that New York Comic Con attendees might have a chance to buy an NYCC 2019 Exclusive Funko Pop Vinyl 6″ Biohazard Wrecking Ball. Quantities are limited and will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. You can find them at Booth #722, visible in the show floor map.
New York Comic Con opens its doors to the public on October 3rd at the Javits Center in Manhattan (655 West 34th Street).
During an Inverse interview, Wes Yanagi (Blizzard Principal Game Producer) and Andrew Boyd (Blizzard Lead Producer) showed interest in an Overwatch hero joining Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros.
Recently, it was revealed at the Nintendo Direct event that Super Smash Bro will have more DLC heroes, on top of the five promised. Of those five, four have been revealed. The fifth is yet to be announced.
It is not the first time Blizzard has teased something that later turns out to be true — like Jeff Kaplan loving the idea of Overwatch coming to the Nintendo Switch, and lo and behold, it became reality.
However, while both producers would love the idea, Yanagi stated such decision is up to Nintendo. Just the fact that Blizzard is interested and willing makes things more viable to happen; but I think the Blizzard Legal Department would have to weigh in how flexible they can be with copyright/trademark aspects of using an Overwatch hero in the Super Smash Bros game.
Other third-party companies have allowed the use of their characters: Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Earthbound, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Starfox, Sonic, Kirby, Kid Icarius, Metal Gear Solid, Pac-Man, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, Mega Man, Punch-Out!, Duck Hunt, Street Fighter, Xenoblade Chronicles, Final Fantasy, Bayonetta, Splatoon, Castlevania, F-Zero, Ice Climber, R.O.B., Dragon Quest, Fatal Fury, and more.
Banjo-Kazooie joined recently, and Terry from Fatal Fury will join the Super Smash Bros DLC heroes this November, with a question mark as the next hero. If an Overwatch hero is coming to the Super Smash Bros (Nintendo Switch), we might possibly hear about it at BlizzCon.
The cool thing about an Overwatch hero joining Super Smash Bros, is that when a DLC hero join the game, a new brawl map (or as they call: Stage) is added too. In the case of Banjo-Kazooie, released on September 4, the stage/map titled Spiral Mountain was added. That hails from the Banjo-Kazooie game.
If an Overwatch DLC hero was added to Super Smash Bros, a map such as King’s Row or Numbani could be added in the DLC as well.
When asked which character from Overwatch they personally think would be a fit for the fighting game extravaganza Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Boyd and Yanagi both shared similar thoughts.
“It’s hard to pick your favorite hero,” Boyd says. “All of them have their own draw in Smash and it’s a really cool idea.”
Adds Yanagi, “They’re all my favorite, It would be an awesome thing to have but that’s up to Nintendo right now.” — source
Blizzard Entertainment added a new item to the Ecopoint: Antarctica that evokes a couple of questions. The item in question is a snow globe on a desk with a blue Overwatch logo. The center of the globe says “Grey.”
This immediately makes you wonder:
1. Is “Grey” meant to be the name, last name, or nickname of a new Hero?
2. We have seen one of Mei’s skins with the green Overwatch logo, which indicates that Overwatch has many divisions within its umbrella: one of them the ecology branch. On the other hand, we have seen a Winston skin with the blue Overwatch logo. The skin is a underwater suit. So the question is: Is there an oceanic division that explores the depths of the ocean? If so, is a new underwater map coming soon, and this item is teasing that? Or could “Grey” refer to the Oceanic division’s station name?