As someone that has thoroughly enjoyed the bulk of what TellTale has produced in recent years, I was eager to speak with a friend about the quality of the team’s latest project, Batman. As he ran me through the intricacies present in the first portion of the episodic content, I was immediately drawn in by the second-hand storytelling that was being presented to me. As the topic naturally progressed to which franchises the studio should tackle next, we passed by the rumored Mr. Robot project before speculating on what might be on the horizon. It was then that an epiphany struck me with all the force of a Wilson using Primal Rage: TellTale should make an Overwatch series.
Those that are familiar with Overwatch will know all too well that its understated narrative is one of the most intriguing aspects about the multiplayer-centric title. These nuggets of backstory are present throughout every environment – with random dialogue between heroes painting a larger picture for those curious enough to begin piecing it together – and it fleshes out the characters more than a multiplayer-only shooter like this ever has. While it does a great job at creating questions for story-hungry gamers, the universe is so rich that there’s room for an almost endless stream of stories to be told. In a perfect world, this is where TellTale could lend its expertise.
Now, this isn’t to say that this is a likely scenario by any means. It’s known that the developer behind Overwatch, Blizzard, is incredibly protective of its IP – and rightfully so. The firm almost certainly has a solid strategy in place that will flesh out the narrative of the franchise in the ensuing months and years (along with a wealth of additional content at no charge), and the cinematics that are still being rolled out post-launch help fill in some of the plot. While these animated shorts are incredibly engaging, they are very far and few between. The longest one to-date has a run time of eight minutes and one second, the Winston-centric ‘Recall’, but there are so many questions now that one has to wonder just how long Blizzard plans on releasing these videos to appease curious gamers.
This is where TellTale can step in and lend its universe-expanding expertise. Again, setting aside the fact that Blizzard undoubtedly has plans to properly introduce backgrounds to each hero and villain on the title’s roster – that much is evident by the developer’s continued desire to crank out animated shorts after the game’s release – the world that Overwatch immerses players in is capable of containing an nearly unfathomable number of stories. In this light, the developers don’t even have to decide which hero an alleged series would follow, as it can simply create its own.
Much like Minecraft (another gaming property tackled by TellTale), Overwatch can take players down an entirely different path with a never before seen protagonist, allowing users to find their own way through the property’s world. Perhaps players can weigh the benefits of joining Overwatch against the motives of the terrorist organization Talon, with ample drama coming about from the robotic ethics intimately thread into the fabric of what little we actually know about this universe. The beauty of the ongoing canon is that it allows every opportunity for TellTale to explore the branching, character-driven arcs that it loves to offer fans, and it would permit those that have fallen in love with the title to have their own impact on the universe.
Blizzard is notorious for the quality of its products, and issues that have bogged down TellTale games in the past (namely severe rendering issues, amongst others) would have to be addressed by the firm. With that said, a partnership between Blizzard and TellTale Games could be a better pairing than chocolate and peanut butter. Mind you, this would be food for the gamer’s soul more so than the tried and true Reese’s, but I digress.
In this imaginary scenario that I’ve dreamt up, fans get exactly what they want from Blizzard and Overwatch – more story. To see these heroes and villains tangle in canon-backed fashion has been reserved solely for videos thus far, and it serves the interest of everyone involved to allow gamers to become more immersed in the lore of the series. Maybe it’s just a pipe dream for the time being, but the blockbuster IP currently at the disposal of TellTale Games certainly lends well to the studio’s ever-impressive pedigree. Perhaps, in that light, a deal can be made amongst the pair of devs.
For now, however, it will remain a fleeting idea brought up in a conversation between myself and a friend of mine.