It's been six long months since Blizzard unveiled the most recent Overwatch animated short, the long-awaited introduction to Sombra titled "Infiltration", but fans of those films are in for a treat. As it happens, a series of new shorts are currently in the works.
Speaking to Polygon during a recent New York City press event, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan revealed that the team are currently working on a second "season" of animated short films. Although the most recent film was the aforementioned Sombra short, Kaplan considers the first "season" to have concluded with"The Last Bastion," the heartfelt origin story of Overwatch's lovable robot that premiered last August.
“We think of them as in seasons. That’s how we talk about them internally. So our first season started with ‘Recall’ [the Winston short] and ended with ‘The Last Bastion.’”
These animated shorts not only served as a way to build hype prior to the release of Overwatch, the films were also a unique and fun way of expanding the game's universe and lore. Kaplan states that due to the lack of gameplay and storytelling restraints that come with animation, as well as numerous Overwatch heroes that have yet to feature in this type of format, it was a good enough reason to get working on a new series of shorts.
“The animated shorts are probably the thing that we have the most fun making. We really love working with our animation group and digging out the stories not tied to any constraints of gameplay — we can tell any stories we want. We plan to tell more of those. We're hard at work on more of those.”
As for when fans can expect some side adventures featuring other characters such as Pharah or Symmetra, no timetable has been set for season two of Overwatch's animated shorts just yet. While the films "take a long time" according to Kaplan, he also states that a different team from the Overwatch development crew are responsible for animation projects such as this one, thus there should be no delays relating to prioritizing game development over the short films.
Fans will undoubtedly be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of new animated short films featuring other characters in Overwatch's large roster, such as Lucio, Zarya, and D.Va. With the Overwatch Anniversary event just a few days away, perhaps we may get the first hint of a new animated short very soon.
Overwatch is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.