Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch was massively hyped prior to its release, thanks to the string of animated shorts that were released. These have provided action, emotion, and a surprising amount of narrative depth for a game with no single-player story mode. Naturally, as with any popular Blizzard release, many fans are crying out for a feature-length movie based on the game.
Part of the reason these shorts have been so well-received is that they all have unique characters and themes that appeal to a variety of people, which would be difficult to explore in a movie without the property becoming overcrowded and convoluted. For example, in one film, having the stories of Hanzo and Genji cross with the stories of Soldier: 76 and Reaper would render the characters shallow, as emotional development would have to be sacrificed for quantity. We've recently seen this happen with Suicide Squad. This could be avoided by focusing on one point in the Overwatch timeline, specifically the Omnic Crisis. However, that would only include a few characters from the Overwatch roster.
'The Last Bastion'
The most recent short, The Last Bastion, has been unique compared to the other four, because it is digestible for someone who has never heard of Overwatch; a tactic that would probably be required for a full-length movie. Although that short had no dialogue whatsoever and solely consisted of robot beeps and incredible orchestral music, I doubt that the Overwatch fan base is calling for a solo Bastion film.
Why Animated Shorts Rule
Let's look at it from a cold, hard budgeting perspective. The Overwatch animated shorts take an understandably long time to create, due to their topnotch quality. If Blizzard truly wished to stay true to its creative technique and not allow for interfere from other studios, stretching a seven-minute short to a two-hour film could take years of hard work. The other option is to let the animation studios help out, possibly compromising how true the film is to the source material, i.e., the video game.
However, if Blizzard were to regularly release shorts as Overwatch's lifespan continues, fans would have more stories for their favorite characters. For instance, we have yet to see Roadhog and Junkrat's international crime spree, which would never make it into a film, as they have little impact on the world as a whole.
Developing The Overwatch Universe
So far, the Overwatch Universe has not fully bloomed. There are many events we have heard of in the comic and the in-game exchanges between characters, yet we have never witnessed. These events would be ripe topics for the animated shorts. Now that Blizzard has established the world so that fans can fully understand, it would be great to see shorts on what went down at Geneva, as it is a pivotal point in the lore that we know almost nothing about it. On top of that, an interesting topic could be the conflict between Lucio and Symmetra. Also, to address the elephant in the room, to see a Sombra animation would not go unappreciated
Expanding The Overwatch Universe
While developing the world and filling in the gaps is important, Blizzard has also expressed the desire to expand the game's lore and story with Ana's return and Sombra's global-hacking spree. Personally, I would like to see Hanzo's path after the Dragons short. Does he forgive himself and fight alongside his brother? Or perhaps he has a different vision and accepts Talon's help after being offered to rebuild his empire by Widowmaker in-game. So let's see this all play out in a slew of shorts before Overwatch hits cinema screens.
What do you think about the prospect of an Overwatch movie? Sound off in the comments below.