Internet sleuths have uncovered the next major clue in Blizzard Entertainment's ongoing ARG for Overwatch, which again seems to indicate that the game's next hero is Sombra.
Ever since Blizzard added Overwatch's first post-launch hero to the game in the form of support sniper Ana a few weeks ago, the community's attention has turned towards what might be coming next. Blizzard itself has been having a bit of fun with the speculation, inserting various hints and Easter Eggs into Overwatch promotional videos and the game's website, and even within the game itself.
The smart money at this point seems to indicate that the next hero to be added to Overwatch will be the mysterious "Sombra." The latest evidence came in the form of a "skull code" discovered by fans on Friday, the first big break that the community has had in a couple of weeks.
Kotaku reports that the search for Sombra has been lead by a group that calls itself the Game Detectives. In order to understand the significance of the Skull Code, let's go over what's been uncovered so far. Earlier this month, the ARG hunters noticed that certain frames in the promotional video for the Overwatch Summer Games seemed to have arrows pointing fans in a certain direction. The detectives created a compass of sorts by arranging the heroes' images in accordance with the directions, for example, Northwest in the top left.
But fans couldn't figure out what they were supposed to do with the chart once assembled. Things took a turn when Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan was asked about "the compass" during an August 4 livestream. "The compass?" he responded. That sounds like deep CIA level stuff. Way above our heads."
That sent fans to scour the skies of the Dorado map that has previously been associated with Sombra. The Game Detectives found what turned out to be a code in the sky but they couldn't figure out how to decipher it, even with the compass. Blizzard stepped in to help the fans out after it was obvious they were at a dead end. A new message read "The answer isn't over your heads, it's behind you. Sometimes, you need to analyze your previous achievements."
This led the detectives to the achievements page in-game. Long story short, the Internet sleuths were able to use the compass to decrypt a cypher hidden within the game's source code that led to a URL. Fans were eventually able to unlock a very unique looking skull from a picture posted to the site.
Fans believe the skull, pictured above, is a sugar skull, a popular treat given out during the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration every November 1 and 2. This meshes well with previous hints that have implied that Sombra has a connection to the Mexico-themed Dorado-map.
No one is quite sure where to go from here, but the detectives are currently poring over every little detail in the skull to look for their hint in an ARG that just keeps getting more and more complex.
There has been some speculation that Blizzard might announce Sombra at Gamescom later this week, but with the ARG seemingly not close to being finished yet, one has to wonder if a reveal is actually going to happen. The fact that the skull is tied to a Mexican holiday that begins at the start of November could imply that fans still have several months to go before this ARG will be solved.
At the very least, Blizzard has proven to be a master at keeping its community engaged. It's no surprise then that Overwatch has accumulated 15 million players and counting and remains one of our Top 10 Games of 2016 So Far. As for what's next in the Sombra ARG saga, fans will just have to keep waiting for the next big break.
Overwatch is out now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.