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Jeff Kaplan Expains Overwatch: First Strike Cancellation

Overwatch Game

Jeff Kaplan, in an interview with Polygon, discusses the now defunct graphic novel known as Overwatch: First Strike. The story would have followed the trio of 76, Reaper, and Ana as they face off against the Omnic Crisis.

In a recent interview with Polygon with Lead Game Director Jeff Kaplan, they discuss the graphic novel that was in the works: Overwatch: First Strike. Unfortunately, the project was canceled back in 2016. Announced back at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015, Overwatch First Strike would detail the early days of the Original Overwatch Strike team during the Omnic Crisis  around the same time frame as Overwatch: Uprising. The First Strike group contained  Jack Morrison (Solider 76), Ana Amari, and Gabriel “Reaper” Reyes.

The cancellation of the game came from a narration standpoint. Kaplan stated in an interview with Polygon

“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.’”

Gabriel “Reaper” Reyes

One of the thing that Jeff enjoys is not tying off loose ends, because he feels that would curb the fan theories.

“Part of the magic is that everything is not tied off and explained to players, 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.”

Originally Overwatch: First Strike was scheduled to be released in a digital format in November, with a print version from Dark Horse Comics planned to ship in April 2017. The 100-page graphic novel featured art from Ludo Lullabi and was written by Micky Neilson. There are currently nine digital comics on the Overwatch website, which fans can read for free along with watching the animated shorts, further detailing the lore in Overwatch.


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