Overwatch: Blizzard Explains Ashe, Heroes in the Works, and Lack of Black Females

Ashe Was Originally Black, Apparently

Blizzard recently announced their latest character for Overwatch, Ashe: the ass-kicking cowgirl with hearts for McCree. However, after the initial excitement died down, many fans counted up the roster and noticed the same things lacking.

Specifically, fans are now confused by the lack of a black female hero. 29 characters in, you’d think a game that boasts about diversity would have kept itself, well, diverse. Keep in mind no one is, exactly, bashing on Blizzard for the fact, as far as I know. Some folks are just confused. Many became more confused after learning that Ashe was black in the original concept. The same was true of Mercy, and fans have noticed a headscratcher of a pattern.

“I think if you look at the history of Overwatch, there’s been such a wide variety of people that we’ve represented in the game,” game director Jeff Kaplan said to Kotaku. “We have no shortage of heroes that we’re currently working on secretly back in Irvine. Right now I think the number’s around six that we have in development. I don’t think people are gonna be disappointed.”

That’s right. Blizzard currently has six new characters in the works. Ashe just happened to pop in ahead of the rest, and the devs more than likely have their reasons for every change of concept. Right now, fans are curious about when the black female characters teased in Winston’s opening short will make an appearance. We’re talking about the animated short that came with the game’s launch, back in 2016.

“I think there’s… I don’t want to say something for everyone, because six is not something for everyone,” Kaplan added. “There’s a lot more people who walk Planet Earth than that. But I don’t think people will be disappointed. We have a lot of really cool, interesting characters that are gonna come out over the next few years.”

Uncle Jeff went on to explain that Ashe was borne out of the “Reunion” Overwatch short. Her role was simply that of a side character in a dedicated McCree piece, but inspiration struck – The team got a kick out of her look, attitude, and B.O.B., so decided she would make a cool playable character. As for how she went from African-American to albino, don’t ask me, I’m not the artist. Speaking of which, artists that were taken by the concept of Ashe had their own go at her appearance. They look pretty stellar.

The sudden inspiration behind Ashe would explain why there’s another character in the animated short that didn’t get revealed as a playable character. I suspect that the blue, android-looking female is one of the six new cast members Blizzard is working on.

“We absolutely have intentions to make a really diverse cast,” said Blizzard senior software engineer Julie Anne Brame. “But again, this came from cinematics, and she was just so special out of that wonderful cinematic. And it wasn’t, like, out of all the things in the world to pick, we want to pick this particular character; it was ‘Wow, that’s a really special character that needs to come to life and really would contribute a lot to our universe.’ I think that’s what made Ashe stand out.”

Any thoughts on Blizzard’s comments? What do you think of the newest playable character, Ashe? Let us know in the comments below.

SOURCE: Kotaku