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Blizzard has announced that their previously announced graphic novel Overwatch: First Strike has canceled in a post on their forums today. First Strike was to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch the organization during the Omnic Crisis and the early stories of many of the characters featured in Overwatch. Characters that were planned to be in it included Gabriel Reyes (Reaper), Jack Morrison (Soldier 76), Ana Amari (Ana), Reinhardt Wilhelm (Reinhardt), and Torbjörn Lindholm (Torbjörn).

In the post, Lead Writer Michael Chu stated:

While we are grateful to the team for the fantastic work they put into it, we’ve ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction.

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.

Later in his post, Chu states that they have a lot of other stories in development that will show more of the world and story of Overwatch. Additionally, the events that they have settled on happening at this time are still a story they plan to tell.

Overwatch: First Strike was to be the creation of a partnership between Dark Horse comics and Blizzard, and the digital version was slated to release this month, with a physical release set for April 2017.

Quick Take

This has the feeling of a creative disagreement of sorts, with the graphic novel not being to the standard Blizzard wanted perhaps, or changes happening too late for Dark Horse to integrate into their work. I suspect that we’re likely to see Overwatch: First Strike as either an animated short, or even a featured film by Activision Blizzard Studios, which was created earlier this year. Given the high quality of the animated shorts for Overwatch so far, one images that they’ll be able to do this story justice and that there is the popularity to justify it for sure.

What do you think of the cancellation of Overwatch: First Strike? Were you looking forward to it? Or is this your first time learning of it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

More About This Game

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • BurntToShreds

    As long as they don’t do something like spend a chunk of time and money on making it into a campaign or something. “Hey guys, we could’ve introduced a couple of maps and a new hero that would last for ages, but we made this one-and-done campaign instead. Isn’t that great?!?”

  • Sam Guglielmo

    I… actually would consider that great, yes.

  • Bo Nana

    The lore of Overwatch interests me, but so far not enough for me to consume any of it. I haven’t even seen the shorts, though I plan to watch them all at some point.


    Can you edit your posts before publishing? I noticed a few mistakes.

  • Evan Pierce

    Personally I don’t care *too* much about the Omnic Crisis, it’s important sure since it’s the whole backstory and should be fleshed out eventually….but I’m more interested in seeing the story move forwards and the stuff going on in the *present* after Winston reactivates Overwatch, like how most of the newbies (meaning they were never in Overwatch before and never had any connection to it, like, Lucio, Junkrat, Symmetra, etc.) are going to get involved in the story and how many of them are actually going to become part of or affiliated with the new Overwatch.

  • this is a name

    i wonder how they justify the funds that go into making those shorts

    seems a bit overkill for marketing, especially since it’s definitely not all the marketing they do