Just hours ago, Jeff Kaplan, in response to a question on the official Overwatch forums, opened Pandora’s box by revealing the next playable hero may not be the rumored Doomfist. With just one simple sentence, all current speculation went tumbling out the window: “24 is not who you think it is.”
The topic was brought about among a thread created by user Lord, who wanted to gripe about the absence of new sitting emotes, specifically for Sombra. Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan stepped in to make it clear that those emotes were on the schedule, but they were months away. Instead, Kaplan further stated that Blizzard feels like “introducing a new hero to the line up would be more impactful to the game.”
For a lark, user ohmybob then took at a shot and asked Kaplan if he would be willing to share that list of heroes, jokingly suggesting that whatever he chose to disclose would never be repeated. Kaplan obliged, to a degree, by writing back, “24 is not who you think it is.”
Just like that, months of discussion and conjecture upended. Many users are reasonably expressing their surprise, while others are dreading the storm of opinions on the matter, both positive and negative, that are sure to flood the forums. Even if it turns out Kaplan has kept his tongue firmly in cheek with these comments, it’s still stirring up a hornet’s nest.
No matter where you stand on the issue, it is certainly unexpected. Considering the odd bit of evidence seemingly pointing to the character’s imminent inclusion found in the game’s files last week, or the ongoing campaign to employ actor Terry Crews to do the character’s voice work, this truly is a shock. After all, Crews has been on board and raring to go for months.
The news that Blizzard has been busy prioritizing releases should not surprise anyone paying attention to the dozens of recent changes pelting Overwatch currently. A Bastion buff is being tested in the game’s PTR that might be making him immensely overpowered, while Mercy and a few others are getting some minor improvements and tweaks. Roadhog is still not quite perfect, despite a huge revamp to his hook ability, and he will be joining Winston in some important future changes. With all of this simmering, it could be a while before the next hero or batch of new emotes.
We now know, with confidence, that Doomfist may not be the twenty-fourth hero. If not Doomfist, then who could it be? Whoever the next character is, the wait for their release is sure to be littered with rumors, copious amounts of speculation, and as much “evidence” as the community can muster. Then again, that’s all part of the Overwatch experience.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.