Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has claimed that the first black female hero was saved until the sequel for story reasons.
Speaking to Kotaku, Kaplan revealed that the hero - Sojourn - was designed before launching the first game. She was featured in the latest trailer for Blizzard’s new title.
“We concepted Sojourn before the original Overwatch game even launched,” said Kaplan.
“She immediately became a very important character to us, and as we were developing the idea for Overwatch 2, she sort of started to move to the centre of the story. She’s coming to the surface now.
“You saw her in [the recent PVE event] Storm Rising. She was the commander sending the troops into Havana on that mission. We’ve always had the storyline for her, and we’ve been working on Overwatch 2 for many years now.”
Long-standing fans of the multiplayer shooter have called for the release of Sojourn - she was first seen in the animated short “Recall” in 2016. Overwatch users began sending mail to Kaplan, asking for the release of the awaited hero - one incident in 2017 led to Kaplan giving a response.
“We would literally have to redo the entire plotline of Overwatch 2 if we were to just remove Sojourn and kind of fast-track her,” said Kaplan.
He concluded: “While I know it’s a really important issue to a lot of people, they need to know that Sojourn is amazing, and we would rather do right by the character - treat her like an actual human being - than just rush her out.
“And I think that the fact that she’s going to be at the centre of Overwatch 2 is going to be really meaningful to a lot of our fans.”
Kaplan officially announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019 in Anaheim California. However, due to leaks people were already aware of the game’s existence in the run up to the annual event.
The Overwatch director has since branded leaks as “extremely demoralising” - especially when consumers don’t have all the facts, leading fans to draw their own conclusions which can have negative results.