Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment pays tribute to a Chinese fan who was killed just one day before the launch of the developer’s popular hero shooter.
It’s a common occurrence these days for video games to pay tribute to deceased fans and fallen celebrities. We’ve seen it with Star Trek Online and the passing of Leonard Nimoy, and in games like Final Fantasy 14, where players rallied around a terminally ill player to show their support.
Nevertheless, despite the proclivity of these in-game tributes it’s always touching to see a developer recognize its fans, especially those who were taken far too early. And that’s what Overwatch did this week, with a tribute to a fan that unfortunately never got to play Blizzard’s highly anticipated game.
Hongyu Wu was 20-years-old and was early anticipating the launch of Overwatch, Blizzard’s (at the time) forthcoming hero shooter. He, like many Blizzard fans out there, was counting down the days until Overwatch’s release, and likely built up a ton of anticipation playing the many beta tests the game had.
Unfortunately, just one day before Overwatch was set to release, Wu, who was a student at Guangzhou University in China, passed away while trying to recover a classmate’s stolen motorbike. While in pursuit of the thief (on his own motorbike), Wu collided with the stolen motorbike and later died of his injuries. The good news is the thief was apprehended, due in large part to Wu’s efforts
As far as the Overwatch tribute, players noticed new Chinese symbols on one of the astronaut suits in the map Lijiang Tower. While we don’t know what it had said previously, the suit now reads “Wu” on its designation. And below that the phrase, “Heroes Never Die” is written, a reference to the Overwatch character Mercy and presumably a tribute to Hongyu Wu.
It’s a fitting tribute to a fan that never got to experience the game that Blizzard was making. Wu, along with millions of Blizzard players out there, was highly anticipating the launch of Overwatch, and it’s a shame that he will never get to see how the game expands over time.
And expand Overwatch will – to include new heroes, new features, and the new ranked mode. The launch of Blizzard’s hero shooter was only the beginning, and there will be more and more to enjoy in the coming months.
But for now let us remember a dedicated Overwatch fan and more importantly a fellow gamer who died trying to stand up against crime. Hongyu Wu will be missed but he will never be forgotten.
Overwatch is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.