From a talking primate with a penchant for peanut butter to a blue-skinned sniper with a tragic backstory, the Overwatch roster of heroes and villains already offers plenty of variety and a lot for fans to love. In total, the game offers 25 characters for players to select.
With the impending arrival of new Overwatch map, Junkertown, fans have latched on to a new piece of lore. They are absolutely convinced that The Queen, the ‘monarch’ in charge of the Australian wasteland, should become the next playable character. But could she really be hero 26?
At the very least, fans lay out a convincing argument for why The Queen, currently known through some Junkertown lore, a voiceover in that map, and some concept art, should become a fully fledged character. According to Overwatch developer Blizzard, The Queen has worked her way up the Junkertown hierarchy by being very good at mech battles. She fought for spoils in Junkertown’s gladiatorial arena, the Scrapyard, and came out on top. The Scrapyard also hosts mech battles that D.Va has taken part in (she has a Junker skin.)
Then, as the ruler of the Junkertown roost, The Queen exiled Roadhog and Junkrat for getting on her bad side. It is The Queen who the anarchy-loving duo are trying to take out in the The Plan animated short.
So the Queen Of Junkertown's design has been released and honestly the resemblance is uncanny. I can't wait for a full picture to come out!!!
There are a lot of factors at play here for why Overwatch players have taken to The Queen so quickly. Bearing scars from battle, a lip-ring, a Mohawk and spikes on her clothing, The Queen exudes an edginess and anti-authority attitude that most can only wish for. She also makes for excellent cosplay inspiration too, as the above Tumblr post shows. And, described as ‘charismatic’ in the game’s lore and not afraid to do what it takes to keep her post-apocalyptic paradise in tact, her bluntness and ambition is admirable.
Although her dislike of Omnics (who she feels unrightfully made claim to the Junkertown land) puts her at odds with the likes of peace-loving robot Zenyatta and the other Omnic-supporters, Overwatch needs its heels. The game is already full of characters that people love to hate or hate to love (Junkrat, Reaper, and Sombra, to name a few) and that conflict and those not-so friendly voice lines between the characters are part of why people love the game so much. The fact that she would get along and disagree with many existing characters also works in her favor.
So with The Queen of Junkertown having a convincing case, could Blizzard actually make fans’ dreams a reality? At the end of August, after The Queen first became known to fans, Blizzard shot the rumors down. In an interview Blizzard production director Chacko Sonny called The Queen a “super interesting character” and said that her voice is “a good foundation.” Sonny didn’t confirm or deny anything about the next hero to be added to the game but said that “in many ways [The Queen’s voice is] all she is right now.”
That was disappointing, but in the recent Junkertown preview video (released last week), Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan seemed to stoke the flames of speculation. Kaplan ended the video saying “I hope that Junkertown is the tip of the iceberg for what’s more to come for Junkrat, Roadhog, The Queen, and the Junkers as a whole.” In the same video, the lore of Junkertown was described as “really important,” suggesting that Blizzard is as eager as ever to explore that some more.
From those Blizzard-given quotes, it sounds like things could go either way for The Queen and her fans. However, lending some more weight behind her cause is the release of Doomfist. One of the most highly anticipated characters in the game, Doomfist had a fan following right from the beginning.
The name Doomfist was first heard in the Overwatch announcement cinematic but Blizzard has since confirmed that the character was never meant to be part of the world and was just a random villain name that former-Blizzard designer Chris Metzen came up with. This is quite unlike Sombra, who was conceived during Overwatch‘s early development.
It’s reasonable to think that fan enthusiasm for Doomfist and his gauntlet (also spotted during the announcement cinematic) are what led Blizzard to make the character a reality. It’s also reasonable to think, then, that Blizzard would want to deliver what fans want by making The Queen a playable character too. The combination of rich lore and backstory (that the developer already cares about) and fan demand, could make it impossible for Blizzard to ignore.
Whether The Queen could be Overwatch hero 26 or not, is unclear for now. Kaplan recently teased that the next character is playable, fun, but some time away. So if The Queen really is about to go from voice over monarch to ruler in reality, it could be a short wait, but for many excited fans it will definitely be worth it.
Overwatch is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.