Unlike other heroes in the Overwatch roster, Echo’s voice lines are only in English—and the coronavirus pandemic is to blame.
Blizzard shipped the character with a single language after lockdowns impacted Echo’s localization process, but promised that localized content would come “in the future.”
“Because of the current lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to finalize localization for some of her voice lines & web content,” Blizzard said. “Rest assured that these will be made available in the future.”
The hero made her way to Overwatch’s PTR in March, early into the coronavirus outbreak. At the time, Blizzard communicated with a similar message, remarking, “we wanted to make Echo available for testing as soon as we could” and promising that the content would make its way to the game eventually.
Localizing an Overwatch character is undoubtedly a resource-intensive endeavor, and Echo’s wealth of voice lines compounds on the complexity of the process. The hero’s ultimate allows her to mimic other characters and replicate their ultimate quotes (including Bastion’s robotic noises). Localizing the character would require dozens of additional voice lines in each language.
The lack of localized content may confuse players. Enemy ultimate callouts sometimes come in the hero’s native language, such as Sombra’s apagando las luces. Echo’s voice lines, however, will play in English regardless of whether they’re friend or foe, which may daze players.