Earlier this year, Blizzard came out of left-field and announced a brand-new Overwatch hero dubbed Wrecking Ball: a robot sounding, mech-piloting hamster from the moon. The strangest addition to the squad yet, the hero, also known as Hammond, was a little controversial at first among some fans who felt the character went a little bit beyond the current lore. But not very long after his release, Wrecking Ball became one of the game’s most popular and beloved heroes.
Part of the charm of Hammond is the character’s wackiness, and apparently, it represents just about how wacky Blizzard will get.
“Do we have ideas that are wackier than Hammond?” said the game’s director Jeff Kaplan while speaking to Kotaku. “Yes. Will they ever make it into the game? I don’t think so.”
According to Kaplan, the creation of Hammond represents the “moments where all creative people try to push up against their boundaries,” in an attempt figure out who they are. However, the creation of the character caused a lot of friction among the team, which consisted of many who were doubtful about the hero, and whether it fit in with the game’s lore.
“Hammond was very controversial on the team,” said Kaplan. “Like, actual heated debates where we had to calm people down, where we were like, ‘We’re not gonna ruin Overwatch by introducing this character.’ Some people literally felt like we might be. We took that very seriously.”
Kaplan continued, noting that it all turned out well in the end, but that the whole process of releasing the hero was a cautionary tale for the team.
“There’s almost no controversy in the community now,” said Kaplan. “Like Winston, I think we’ve made him feel very natural in the Overwatch universe. But I think it was a cautionary tale to us of, ‘Be careful when you push against your creative boundaries a little bit too hard.’ Or at least, we’re on cooldown.”
In other words, don’t expect another hero as offbeat as Hammond or Winston. At least for now.
“I think when it comes to the creativity of the Overwatch team, pushing up against Hammond and Winston is maybe as far as we go,” said Kaplan. “Maybe? For now at least?”
Overwatch is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For more news and coverage of the team-based hero shooter, click here.