It's Christmas Day, and I sincerely hope that you all are enjoying time with your friends and family. I wish that I could, but something has happened in the gaming world that is so disturbing, so wrong that I had to walk away from all of the people I love to write about it on the Internet. Some things are more important than family: Overwatch has completely ruined my Christmas.
Blizzard Entertainment, quite predictably, has a holiday-themed event going on for their popular first person shooter Overwatch. Holiday-themed events are standard fare in most online games these days, and I think it's fair to say that many gamers were excited to see what the fine folks at Blizzard had planned for their game. Unfortunately, we didn't get something good. We got something terrible.
I find some of the choices that have been made with the characterization of the cast of Overwatch to be frankly appalling. There are some things that you just shouldn't do. An argument can be made that Blizz is simply pandering to their audience and there may be a grain of truth to that. Still, I think if you are going to do something, you should do it well and do it right. Blizzard failed on both counts.
Honestly, it's absolutely sickening. Players have been asking for so many things since Overwatch released. New heroes, new skins, new events. A legion of fan artists pumped out tens of thousands of interpretations of all the different characters with little to no canon backing them. It's gotten to the point that there are in-jokes in the community based on all of this art. Reaper shops at Hot Topic, Winston is Science Harambe, and D.Va is a Dorito-eating gremlin. The ones that Blizzard have responded to by introducing something in-game have turned out great—until now.
There's a lot of common threads in these fan interpretations, chiefly among them a sense of romance and family. Ana is Team Grandma, Reinhardt is Team Grandpa, Soldier 76 is Team Dad, and so on. Reaper and Widowmaker are a brooding goth couple, Mercy and Soldier 76 have a romance going on, and Lucio and D.Va date one another. As I've said, family and romance are important to the fan lore of Overwatch.
But this year, Blizzard made a huge mistake. After knowing what so many of the fans liked and having the perfect opportunity to give it to us, they didn't just completely fail—they made a huge mistake. This mistake is a slap in the face to people who care about a truly traditional Christmas, and it's right there plain as day (most notably in the recently released comic "Reflections"). The moment I saw it, I felt ill. How could they make such a misstep? Of all the things the diehard fans wanted from the game, this is how you've decided to do it?
I think I've made my case. Frankly, it's unforgivable that we could have a Christmas-themed event and there it is for all of us to see, right in our faces. They didn't even try to be subtle about it; Blizzard practically said, "There it is, plain as day, deal with it." It's very upsetting to me. I'm unhappy at best and infuriated at worst. The way they decided to represent one of their most important and beloved characters for the Winter Wonderland event is depressing and disappointing. It's absolutely unforgivable that they didn't take the time to give us a Soldier 76 Ugly Christmas Sweater skin, and I hope that next year they'll think more carefully about what their fans want.
Are you as outraged as I am about how Blizzard handled their Christmas event? What other travesties have they done that you feel absolutely compelled to write about? Why didn't I get what I wanted for Christmas yet again? Let us know in the comments below!