A while back, Blizzard noted that it was working on a graphic novel based on its hit shooter, Overwatch. Titled First Strike, it would’ve told an interesting side story to tie in with the main game.
But just as quickly as it was announced, Blizzard cancelled the project for unspecified reasons. However, today, thanks to Polygon, we got a little more insight as to why the book was never meant to be.
Game director Jeff Kaplan noted that it was a “really hard decision” to abandon the idea of a graphic novel, and said that the content wasn’t really to blame, but rather shutting out the fans that have gotten used to the game’s storyline.
"The art was beautiful and the writing was excellent," Kaplan explained, talking about First Strike. "The reason had less to do with the specific content in that novel and more to do with the way that it would have limited us. It was a very specific, contained story."
"We sort of saw Overwatch really open up to the world, and listening to players and the stories they were telling and what they imagined the Omnic crisis to be really made us second guess what we were doing in First Strike. We thought, 'Hey, if we go down this path, it really closes all these doors.'"
The story remained a focal point on the project. “There’s a lot going on in Overwatch right now where I think that the story in players’ heads is often even cooler than what we can deliver to them.”
When the book was initially cancelled last year, writer Michael Chu explained, “We’ve ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction.”
He added, "The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. In the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch."
So now what? Well, not to worry, as there’s currently a lot happening with the game’s first anniversary, so fans will certainly keep busy.