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Added Nov 25, 2015 at 02:11PM EST by Z..

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Overwatch was a team-based first-person shooter video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment, in which players assume control of a variety of hero characters each with their own unique abilities.


Overwatch takes place in a future after an event known as the Omnic Crisis. The Omnic Crisis began when robots that once served humans mysteriously gained sentience, and rebelled against their human masters. Humanity responded to this by creating Overwatch: an organization tasked with enforcing good and defending the planet from evil. A large battle then commenced between the robots and Overwatch, with Overwatch being victorious at the end. Skip to present day, thirty years after the Omnic Crisis. For reasons unknown, Overwatch has been disbanded, and most of its members now serve as mercenaries.[5]


In the beta release of the game, Overwatch allowed players to control 21 heroes in a six versus six team. Hero characters include:

  • Tracer: A former pilot with the ability to blink through time
  • Hanzo: A ninja-like hero who wields a bow and can climb walls
  • Reinhardt: A hero who carries a massive hammer and wears a giant suit of armor
  • McCree: A former outlaw who delivers justice on his own terms with his revolver
  • Reaper: A mysterious rogue who brandishes dual shotguns and can turn into a shadow
  • Widowmaker: A deadly assassin armed with a sniper rifle and an infra-sight recon visor

Current maps consist of three game modes: Control, Payload, and Point Capture, with some being hybrids between the latter two. Each match will put you on a team of six people attempting to attack/defend an area while the opposing team tries to stop you from doing so. [4] At the end of each match, a "Play of the Game" will be displayed, showing the player that employed a maneuver that turned the tide of the game.


Overwatch was first announced on November 7th, 2014 during BlizzCon (shown bellow). During Penny Arcade Expo East 2015, Blizzard Entertainment announced the release of a closed beta on October 25th, 2015.[6] The game is set for release on May 24th, 2016.

Tracer's Pose Controversy

On March 25th, 2016, Blizzard forum user Fipps started a discussion thread in Overwatch's beta feedback page[9] asserting that the victory pose of Tracer, one of the more well-known playable characters, is irrelevant to her character traits and therefore objectifies her as a female sex symbol.

Over the Shoulder (75)

Throughout the weekend, Fipps' thread on Tracer's victory pose devolved into a lengthy and messy debate with hundreds of other users debating on a wide range of tangential topics, from Blizzard's art direction and marketing strategies to objectification of female videogame characters. On March 28th, Jeff Kaplan, the game director of Overwatch, replied[10] to the thread by pledging to replace the character's pose, which inadvertently led to the escalation of an already tense debate on the forum.

In response to Kaplan's announcement, many users criticized the decision for what they perceived as a disproportionate response to an individual beta participant's qualm, some raised their eyebrows at the studio's seemingly arbitrary hypersensitivity to sexualization of cartoon characters, despite its gratuitous depiction of cartoon violence, while others complimented the studio for its receptiveness to community feedback and dedication to the details in portrayal of characters in line with their personalities. On April 5th, the game was updated to include a replacement for the original, which was consequently praised by the fans for being more fitting with Tracer's personality. A post on the Overwatch subreddit regarding the pose change gained over 2,900 points (89% upvoted) and 950 comments in less than 16 hours.[15]

Overwatch graphic of Tracer showing off victory poses

Open Beta

On May 2nd, Blizzard released a new cinematic teaser titled "Are You With Us?", featuring the Overwatch character Winston announcing the game's "Open Beta" event, which will allow people to play the game for free from May 5th to May 9th (shown below). The same day, those who preordered the game were allowed early access to the Open Beta.

On May 3rd, the @PlayOverwatch Twitter feed posted a map showing when the Open Beta will be available for various regions around the world (shown below).

Map infographic showing where Open beta will be released

On May 20th, Blizzard released an infographic containing various player statistic gathered during the beta test period.

Winter Update

On December 13th, 2016, Blizzard released a holiday-themed update to Overwatch called "Winter Wonderland."[16] The event comes with more than 100 new cosmetic items that players can earn by unlocking winter loot boxes. There are winter-themed skins of most of the characters, and two levels, Hanamura and King’s Row, reskinned to be winter-themed. It also includes a new mode called Mei's Snowball Offensive, a 6v6 brawl where everyone plays as Mei. The Winter Wonderland event runs from December 13th to January 2nd, 2017.

Hero Updates

Ana Amari

On July 19th, 2016, the Support hero Ana Amari was added to the game, who uses a sniper rifle to damage enemies and heal team mates.


In early November 2016, the Offense hero Sombra was added to the game, who has the ability to hack enemy players and cloak herself in a temporary stealth field.


On March 2nd, 2017, Blizzard announced that the quadraped robotic unit Orisa would be the playable hero in Overwatch.[17] The Tank class character can place shields for team members to hide behind, fortify itself against enemy attacks, shoot graviton charges pulling nearby enemies and supercharges nearby team members as part of her ultimate ability. That day, the Overwatch YouTube channel uploaded a developer update about Orisa (shown below, left), as well as an animated origin story video (shown below, right).

Meanwhile, YouTubers Unit Lost and Force Gaming uploaded gameplay footage of Orisa, demonstrating her various abilities against AI enemies (shown below). Additionally, Redditor DixonSeilem submitted a post about the Orisa announcement to /r/Overwatch,[18] where it gained over 13,800 points (85% upvoted) and 1,300 comments within two hours.


On November 3rd, 2017, the @Overwatch Twitter feed released a preview trailer for the upcoming support hero Moira, a geneticist with the ability to heal teammates or damage enemies with an energy beam weapon (shown below).

That day, the trailer was submitted to /r/Overwatch,[19] where it gathered upwards of 16,500 points (93% upvoted) and 2,700 comments. Meanwhile, Redditor Arconyx submitted an "ask me anything" post about the character's gameplay, saying "she is overall a total blast."[20] Also on November 3rd, several news sites published articles about the new hero, including Kotaku,[21] Polygon[22] and The Verge.[23]

Wrecking Ball

On June 28th, 2018, Overwatch released two videos revealing the new hero Wrecking Ball, a new playable ball-shaped robot mecha piloted by a hamster named Hammond (shown below).

That day, other Twitter users began posting fan arts and photoshops of the new hero (shown below).

17 GenS AUSTRIA 7 Gens AUSTRA 9x19


On November 2nd, 2018, Blizzard released a promotional video for the upcoming playable hero Ashe (shown below) along with a page detailing her abilities on Overwatch.com.[24]

The character is described as a damage-dealer equipped with a semi-automatic rifle nicknamed "The Viper," a stick of dynamite that can set enemies on fire and a shotgun side arm that has a knockback effect. Additionally, Ashe has an ultimate ability which calls down a giant robot named B.O.B., who knocks enemies down and shoots them with arm cannons. Meanwhile, a short cinematic video titled "Reunion" was released, in which Ashe meets the character McCree (shown below).


World Cup

The Overwatch World Cup is an annual tournament organized by Blizzard Entertainment in which various teams from around the world compete in Overwatch matches. Starting in September 2016, the first qualifier matches were held, in which teams representing 16 different countries advanced to the finals held at the upcoming Blizzcon event. On October 25th, 2016, the PlayOverwatch YouTube channel uploaded a video providing information regarding the World Cup event (shown below).

On November 5th, the finals were held at Blizzard's annual Blizzcon event, where Team South Korea defeated Team Russia for 1st place. Team Sweden came in third after defeating Team Finland. That day, the Genzo Overwatch YouTube channel uploaded a highlight video of the final matches (shown below).

Online Presence

Since its announcement, Overwatch has been heavily compared with the team-based first person shooter Team Fortress 2. On November 9th, 2014, YouTuber RIZΣKI uploaded a video titled "Team Overwatch 2 Trailer", featuring Overwatch's trailer with Team Fortress 2 voice commands, gaining over 250,000 views in the following year, On November 11th, 2014, the let's player STAR_ uploaded a video where he discusses about the comparasions and his opinion on the game, gaining over 900,000 views in the following year. After the announcement, a dedicated subreddit was created, gathering over 75,000 subscribers in the following year.[1]

After its announcement, the game quickly gained a fandom, spawning fan art and discussions on the released trailers. As November 25th, 2015, the artist community DeviantART leads to over 5,000 results under the keyword "overwatch", being most of them related to the game.[3] Fandom presence can also be found on other communities like Tumblr.[2]

Overwatch Fan Art of girl gamer Overwatch fan art of cyborg angel girl Overwatch fan art of sporty looking girl with safety glasses Overwatch fan art Overwatch cosplayer cool overwatch cosplayer woman

Time to Reap

"Time to Reap" is a voice line uttered by Reaper when using his ultimate ability. First seen on the gameplay trailer, the quote got consequently mocked for being percived edgy, and got popular after an animation uploaded by STAR_, which got over 460,000 views in less than a month (shown bellow).

It's High Noon

"It's High Noon" is a voice line uttered by the hero McCree when using his ultimate ability. Due the effectiveness of the ability, the quote has become popular on the fandom.

Meme of IT IS HIGH NOON, which originates from Overwatch

Justice Rains From Above

"Justice Rains From Above" is a memorable quote uttered by the the playable hero character Pharah whenever she uses her ultimate ability Barrage.

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