Overwatch was one of gaming's biggest overnight successes. Released in 2016, Blizzard Entertainment's game steamrolled over competition like Battleborn, selling more than seven million copies in its opening week. Since then, the first-person shooter has only continued to grow, spawning a plethora of merchandise, including Nerf toys, LEGOs, Funko Pops, and more. While a sequel to the game was announced at BlizzCon just last month, that simply isn't enough Overwatch for Director Jeff Caplan. In an interview with Edge Magazine, Caplan stated his "dream" of seeing the Overwatch universe expand in even more significant ways, including spin-off games, cartoons, movies and more.
"We've always thought of Overwatch as a universe, not a single game. The original game was the first expression of Overwatch, but we dream of what other forms of media could feature Overwatch. Movies? An animated series? What other game types would everyone love to see in the Overwatch universe? We hope that the characters of Overwatch exist far into the future and are expressed in ways that we can't even imagine today."
The characters of Overwatch seem well-suited to spin-off games. In just three years, characters like Tracer, Hanzo and Mei have become beloved, with cosplayers in particular embracing their unique designs. While Overwatch does not have a traditional story mode, Blizzard has expanded on the back stories of the characters through animated shorts. Spin-off games, however, would certainly provide more opportunities to help the characters grow, and help the audience grow with them.
The concept of spin-off games is an interesting one, particularly since Riot Games recently announced the creation of Riot Forge. Riot Forge is a separate publishing arm created for the express purpose of giving developers the opportunity to create spin-off games based on the publisher's League of Legends characters. Whether or not this recent announcement was on Caplan's mind is hard to say; after all, Caplan never mentions the idea of outside developers working on Overwatch. It does seem interesting, however, that both Blizzard and Riot seem intent on that similar end goal for their massively multiplayer franchises. Time will tell if either company is successful in this endeavor, but fans should be happy to know that both developers are focused on the future.
What Overwatch character would you like to see receive their own spin-off game? Would you like to see an Overwatch film? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!