As of this week, the Overwatch team is losing a key member of its development squad.
Michael Chu, lead writer for the series (and contributor to multiple Blizzard franchises), is leaving Blizzard after 20 years. In a heartfelt personal blog, he describes his two-decade journey at the company, noting how Overwatch was a "life-changing experience," and how it's impacted a lot of people across the world. The blog is more of a reflection, as he doesn't explain why he's leaving or what he's doing next.
I know you're thinking this whole time: wait, Overwatch has a story? While it's mostly relegated to the background, it does. Chu oversaw every facet of the game's narrative, from the overarching Omnic Crisis that informs all of the game's cutscenes to individual bits of character dialogue, to having his hand in multiple short stories.
I had the opportunity to visit multiple panels featuring Chu, where he was featured alongside of multiple Overwatch voice actors. Chu seemed to have real chemistry with the cast, as they openly talked about character beats, backstories and motivations for the vocal performances. Out of everyone I've spoken to on the Overwatch team, he was perhaps the most passionate member on staff and the most connected to the game outside of director Jeff Kaplan.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact he had on the narrative direction of Overwatch 2, or if Blizzard will be keeping the story vague in spite of the larger focus on PVE.
Michael Chu [Twitter]