Blizzard explains why Overwatch still does not have the hero's black woman


Early concepts of the latest hero Overwatch, Ashe
Image: Blizzard

Overwatch fans of disappointed Ashe should know that there are six new heroes in the game, Blizzard said Kotakuand fans hoping for a greater variety of characters from the popular game will hope to find what they are looking for in the upcoming updates.

"I think if you look at the story Overwatchthere were so many people we represented in the game, "said the game's director, Jeff Kaplan Kotaku at BlizzCon last weekend. "We do not lack the heroes that we are currently working on in Irvine secretly, at the moment I think the number is sixth in development, I do not think people are disappointed."

"I think it is … I do not want to say something for everyone, because six is ​​not something for everyone," said Kaplan. "There are many more people who walk Planet Earth than this, but I do not think people will be disappointed, we have many really cool, interesting characters that will appear in the next few years."

When Ashe, a devilish cowgirl with a familiar robot, was announced in BlizzCon on Friday, people were excited. Some wanted to play like her. Others he wanted to be trampled by her. But when the emotions began to fade, the discussion changed: Ashe is another skinny white woman, as people have noticed, in a game that still does not have even one black hero.

"On the one hand, new, new Overwatch hero! We can not wait to see what Ashe can do. On the other hand … where is my black female hero, Blizzard ???? wrote one Twitter fan, echo an almost infinite avalanche of similar feelings.

The fans' disappointment increased when Blizzard revealed in the next BlizzCon panel that Ashe had darker skin in a very early design. They could not help noticing that a pattern was created, noting that Mercy's early iteration was also black.

There are also potential black heroes who have been on the fans' radars for years, but have not yet come to the game.

"So, uh, Overwatch, what is good? " said illustrator and game designer Chris Kindred on Twitter, combining photos of two black characters briefly shown in the animated short chronicles of Winston from 2016. "And how, a hamster is nice or whatever, but the streets have been hungry for these two since the movie Winston."

Some fans even went so far as to create a fancy play of what Ashe would look like if she were black:

Overwatch currently has 29 heroes, including men and women from various backgrounds, who are often not in video games with large budgets. Doomfist is a Nigerian man, Pharah is an Egyptian woman, and Lucio is a Brazilian DJ. The cast is played by even black women, such as the creator Orissa, Efi Oladele. After all, however, black women are still clearly absent from the heroes' plan, even when the game is being criticized for the lack of diversity of the faces and characters of women.

Writing this story, I asked KotakuIs Gita Jackson, who also dealt with this issue. "Every time Blizzard announced a new hero, there were fans asking when a black woman will come in. There are so few playable black women in the games that are consistently overlooked by the developer studio that clearly wants Overwatch feel diversified and international feel depressing, "she said." They made a hamster and a second cowboy before they made a black woman. It seems that we are not a priority and although I can not tell them what to do, I feel that they are subordinating to themselves some of their fans who clearly want to throw away their money in them. "

Jeff Kaplan said Kotaku at BlizzCon, Ashe, as we know her, was born out of a sense of time and sudden inspiration that played a part in her appearance. Initially, she was a supporting character in "Reunion", a new film released during BlizzCon. It was conceived as a "piece of McCree", but Overwatch the band saw an early, pre-animated video version created by a team of filmmakers and was taken by the appearance and personality of Ashe & # 39; a – and also B.O.B. They decided that Ashe would be the next hero.

"No doubt we are going to create a really diverse cast," said Blizzard senior software engineer Julie Anne Brame. "But again, it was from the movies, and she was so special from this great movie, and we did not choose all things in the world, we want to choose this particular character, it was" Wow, it's a really special character who has to revive and really a lot bring it to our universe. "I think it was what made Ashe stand out."

But that does not explain why Ashe could not become a black woman, nor do she do much to satisfy the fears of the fans who wait so long for the hero who speaks to them on a personal level. More characters are on the way, so we hope Blizzard will show his hand sooner rather than later.

We will have more than mine Overwatch interview soon.


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