overwatch

overwatch

“Cheers love, the cavalry’s here.” After weeks of being the world’s most talked about game, Overwatch is finally here.

Overwatch is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) video game produced by Blizzard Entertainment, the same game publisher that gave the world the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series.

Now you may be thinking, what’s so special about this game? It has beautiful design, lovable, overpowered characters, it’s an FPS (First-person shooter) game, and it caters to gamers of all ages. That’s great and all, but how does this make them stand-out from the crowd?

At a time when the market is filled with an abundance of games, it is difficult to stand out. With Overwatch being Blizzard’s first intellectual property since Starcraft in 1998, they knew they had to do something remarkable.

If there’s one thing that makes this game stand-out from the others, it’s an in-depth storyline beyond the game that people can easily relate to – a first within the gaming industry. But that’s only a fraction of what they have done in terms of publicity.

Listening to customer concerns

tracer

Tracer is the face of the game. And she is adored by many gamers, young and old alike. But a concerned mother, whose daughter is a big fan of Tracer, pointed out a flaw to Blizzard in their forums.

Her argument was sound, clearly indicating that Tracer is a great hero, saying “She’s fast. She’s silly. She’s kind. She’s a good friend.” And while every artwork and video portraying Tracer has matched her character traits, her victory pose didn’t do her justice.

Arguments rose from the complaint. But Blizzard took charge and Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s senior vice president of story and franchise development, had this to say:

“We build games for everybody. We want everyone to come and play. Increasingly, people want to feel represented, from all walks of life, boys and girls, everybody. We feel indebted to do our best to honour that.”

Before:

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After:

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Bringing a young fan’s art to life

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The artists of Overwatch did something aww-inspiring to further raise their publicity.

As kids, we’ve always imagined new characters that we would love to see in our favourite stories. A father, Shane Hickey, tweeted to Overwatch, that his daughter had drawn her own Overwatch character, with attributes that matches their style. The name of her character is “Birst.”

Birst-text

After being inspired by the drawing, they made a fan art of the little girl’s character. And just like that, they made her dream come to true.

birst

And her reaction was priceless:

A potential new character for the game? That would definitely make the little girl extra happy. But only time can tell what Overwatch decides to do.

Online Storytelling

Overwatch has produced five animated shorts. And that’s only their first season. Slowly, they are introducing the background of each character, showing glimpses of character traits and how powerful they can be, even before they start playing the game. The animated shorts will continue on, with a second season set for production.

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On top of that, they’ve released e-comic books that focuses on the characters that hasn’t featured in the animated shorts. Six 10-page e-comic books has emerged on their website, giving fans an extensive look into the universe of Overwatch.

Giant Overwatch Figures

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For Overwatch’s launch, they placed three giant action figures of characters Tracer, Genji, and Pharah, complete with packaging and accessories in Los Angeles, Paris, and Busan respectively. People looked in awe at the giant figures, crossing their fingers that Overwatch would produce smaller scale action figures they can own, which is something Blizzard has been known for doing.

Collaboration with Coke e-sports

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With the help of Coke e-Sports, Blizzard had organized a theatrical release of their season 1 story in the cinema, together with hero trailers and a behind-the-scenes look at the heroes and lore of the Overwatch universe.

Here’s the compilation of Overwatch’s animated stories:

Blizzard is known for being one of the masters of storytelling in the gaming industry. So they took the Disney approach – marketing through storytelling. They developed a game, constructed a compelling story for each character, and sell the product.

As David Ogilvy had once said, “You cannot bore people into buying your product.” And Blizzard has delivered a product that is entertaining enough for everyone to relate to – regardless of who they are in the world. Because, in the end of the day, we all need someone to WATCH OVER us.

What brand story would you build around your next product?
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