Blizzard explains how it builds new heroes

Heroes are the backbone of the Overwatch series, but where do they come from?

Image via Blizzard

Heroes are the backbone of the Overwatch series; not only are they the characters you play in the game, but they also create the store, the lore and everything else surrounding them. How they interact with one another during games is just a small hint at the overarching themes and trademarks of what makes Overwatch such a fantastic game at heart. But where do these heroes come from?

Michael Chu, a lead writer at Blizzard, recently explained just how heroes are created for the game. “The heroes come from a lot of different places and from all over the team, but mostly from one of three places: art, design, or story (or some combination of them),” Chu said.

It’s a common practice in the industry for character designs to stem from these three areas, however, some companies favor the design process being handled by a single team, not multiple, so it does not impact another team or cause problems later down the line.

“There have been times when we’ve wanted to introduce a character to fill a specific gameplay space,” Chu said, with some characters being designed to counter others, like Junkrat for Bastion and turrets. “Other times, characters have really come about because a really strong visual character design was dreamed up by one of the artists, like Zarya or Winston.”

Another reason why some heroes were created is because of the overall story behind Overwatch and the Overwatch universe.

“Finally, there are characters who come out of the story, like Soldier: 76, where we wanted to have a character who could shine a light on certain parts of the narrative (in his case, he’s basically at the spine of the entire history of Overwatch),” Chu said. “Every hero is a little different, but in general, that’s the process for how they come about.”

It is interesting to see that all of the characters were made to cater to what the world of Overwatch needed at the time and, as we head towards the game’s 25 hero (hopefully Doomfist), it is always good to see the amount of work and effort that goes into this process behind the scenes.