The watch be­gins…

Art di­rec­tor Bill Pe­tras ex­plains the think­ing be­hind the look and feel of Bliz­zard En­ter­tain­ment’s first new fran­chise in 17 years…

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At­ten­dees at Bl­iz­zCon 2014 were first to hear that Bliz­zard En­ter­tain­ment is to re­lease its first new ti­tle in almost two decades. Over­watch is a mul­ti­player on­line bat­tle arena game that in­tro­duces 12 new char­ac­ters and a whole world for them – and gamers – to ex­plore.

Bliz­zard, the team be­hind the World of War­craft fran­chise, un­veiled an ac­tion­packed the­atri­cal trailer in which its stylised, car­toon­ish char­ac­ters showcase their skills dur­ing a stand­off in a mu­seum.

“We wanted to es­tab­lish some­thing new, but still keep to Bliz­zard’s her­itage of ex­ag­ger­ated style,” art di­rec­tor Bill Pe­tras says. “Ul­ti­mately, the Over­watch art style is fo­cused on read­abil­ity of game­play. We strove to cre­ate a hand­crafted look for the ma­te­ri­als, com­bined with ex­ag­ger­ated sil­hou­ettes for the he­roes.”

The trailer tells us there was an elite in­ter­na­tional task force – sol­diers, sci­en­tists, ad­ven­tur­ers, odd­i­ties – that “re­stored lib­erty to all na­tions”. But their watch is over, it’s said, even if the en­su­ing shootout proves oth­er­wise. The game will be avail­able for PCs – though there’s no re­lease date yet – with a beta ver­sion com­ing in 2015.

“We’re ex­cited to fi­nally be able to share this new uni­verse and th­ese awe­some he­roes with ev­ery­one,” Bill says. “It’s been great to hear the com­mu­nity’s feed­back so far, and we’re look­ing for­ward to shar­ing even more of our work when the Over­watch beta be­gins next year.”

To see more art­work for the up­com­ing game visit http://eu.bat­tle.net/over­watch.

We strove to cre­ate a hand­crafted look for the ma­te­ri­als and ex­ag­ger­ated sil­hou­ettes for the he­roes

Over­watch is set on a near-fu­ture Earth and bat­tles take place in real-world lo­ca­tions such as London and the pyra­mids of Egypt. Over­watch’s char­ac­ters ex­hibit a re­fined ver­sion of Bliz­zard’s trade­mark

ex­ag­ger­ated art style.

Bliz­zard artists have been tasked with cre­at­ing some­thing new that also keeps to the company’s her­itage.

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