Hammond—or Wrecking Ball—wasn’t always a hamster.
When Blizzard first started working on Overwatch’s first heroes, there was a need for “cute” heroes in the Overwatch world. The developer toyed with a few different animals and concepts for this much-needed cute hero, but the spark for the idea actually came from Junkrat’s original design.
Junkrat was once called the Demolitionist, with a bunch of different iterations on the table. Junkrat ended up being slightly similar to concept number one, but concept number three had just enough cute for the Blizzard team.
He’s called Ball Guy. He didn’t get too far into the concept process, Overwatch artists Arnold Tsang and Ben Zhang said during a live stream on July 12. But the Overwwatch team liked the idea of a hero that could turn into a ball and roll around.
Blizzard combined the idea of Ball Guy and a cute animal hero into the first iterations of Hammond’s design. And he wasn’t always a genetically-altered hamster. Once, Hammond was a robot hamster. His mechanized hamster ball looks a lot like it does now, but eventually Blizzard turned him into an actual hamster.
Tsang and Zhang answered fan questions during the Overwatch live stream, giving insight into overall hero design in addition to Hammond-specific information. The Overwatch artists also revealed that Hammond is getting two lore-inspired Overwatch skins, one for Horizon Lunar Colony and one for Junkertown. Concept artist Zhang spent the stream drawing out the concept art for the Horizon Lunar Colony skin while answering questions.
All of Hammond’s cosmetics will be viewable on the Overwatch PTR this afternoon.