Overwatch’s lead designer has admitted that Blizzard may have misjudged the timing of its alternate reality game to promote the game’s latest hero, Sombra – and would do things a ‘lot differently’ if a similar concept were to arise again.
During an interview with members of the Overwatch subreddit at BlizzCon 2016, Geoff Goodman was questioned on the success of the ARG, which has faced criticism from a number of users over its length; many felt that the campaign ran too long. In response, Goodman said: “Well nothing ever quite pans out as we hope it does. It was interesting as we’ve never done an ARG before, so we’re not exactly masters of that or anything.
“Definitely I think we learned a lot of lessons; probably mistimed a few things. We were a little surprised at how fast people were, so that kind of took us by surprise. I mean, overall I think it was a success. Certainly, there were some pitfalls to it, and I know some people definitely got upset about it… we definitely learned a lot this time.”
Goodman went on to admit that Blizzard always intended on revealing Sombra at BlizzCon, adding: “We certainly underestimated people a little bit and we should’ve timed it a little closer or something.”
When asked about the possibility of running an Overwatch-related ARG in the future, Goodman referred to the background of Sombra as a hacker playing a major part in the conception of the campaign, and said that it might feel “pretty weird” if they were to do it with another character. “If it did come up again,” he concluded, “we would certainly do it a lot differently.”