Overwatch

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Fandom
Name: Overwatch
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: Blizzard Entertainment
Date(s): May 2016
Medium: Video Game
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Overwatch official website
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Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It centres around a group of heroes on a futuristic Earth, fighting against each other in teams of 6 to win each round. Its large and diverse cast of playable characters, and evolving lore has created a large fandom and community.

Canon

Soldiers. Scientists. Adventurers. Oddities.

In a time of global crisis, an international task force of heroes banded together to restore peace to a war-torn world: Overwatch.

It ended the crisis and helped to maintain peace in the decades that followed, inspiring an era of exploration, innovation, and discovery. But after many years, Overwatch's influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded.

Overwatch is gone… but the world still needs heroes.

Now, conflict is rising across the world again, and the call has gone out to heroes old and new. Are you with us?

Fandom

Size

Overwatch has a large community with 11159 works on Archive Of Our Own as of 26 Feb. 2017. It is much less popular on Fanfiction.net however with only 6 fanworks as of 26 Feb. 2017.

According to statistics from Tumblr Fandometrics, As of February 2017 Overwatch is the No.1 most popular video game fandom on Tumblr and has been all year.

Tropes

  • Calling Soldier: 76 'Dad76' or 'Grandad76'. Many fanworks are based around him being a father figure to the other Overwatch members.[1]
  • It's popular to draw the Shimada brothers' dragons as Noodles, Dogs or Cats. Examples include:
  • Using in-game voicelines in fanworks and fanart is very popular. An example is this fanart of McCree by Aledbr on Tumblr.
  • New character skins are popular choices for fanart.
  • Many fanworks make fun of McCree's ultimate, Deadeye. Notable fanworks include:
  • There is a meme of Genji saying 'I need Healing', due to Genji players in-game typically being hard for supports to heal but constantly requiring healing.
  • It is popular to ship members of Overwatch with the three members of Talon. The most popular and widely accepted ships of this ilk are are:
    • Reaper/Soldier: 76
    • Widowmaker/Tracer
    • Sombra/Symmetra

Shipping

Shortly after the games release McCree/Hanzo quickly become the juggernaut pairing of the fandom with Reaper/Soldier: 76 as a close second, this gave way for Slash to dominate the fandom shipping activity. Femslash is also popular, with pairings such as Pharah/Mercy gaining attention due to their compatibility in game play tactics, and Widowmaker/Tracer after both starred in the animated short Alive.

After the release of Orisa, a crack ship of Orisa and D.Va's mech appeared. In the Overwatch fandom shipping robots (or Omnics are they are called in canon) is very popular, as many have humanoid characteristics and interact with the other characters extensively.

Crossovers are not popular in Overwatch fanworks. The large cast of Overwatch heroes (plus canon non-hero characters such as Emily and Efi Oladele) make even large fanfictions easy to keep self-contained.

Shipping terminology can be found at the List of overwatch pairings.

Sombra ARG

The Sombra ARG (Alternate Reality Game[2]) was started in July 2016 and ended at Blizzcon 2016 with the announcement of new Overwatch hero Sombra. It was a trail of clues left by Blizzard in and out of Overwatch, which alluded to the new hero. Clues were varied, including hexadecimal numbers in Ana's video release and hidden messages on in-game objects such as newspapers.[3]

The ARG led to many groups of players and programmers working together to solve the mystery, although some felt that the ARG went on too long.[4] It also spawned fanart from people trying to guess what Sombra would look like. Examples of these fanarts are Sombra on Dorado by Orroko and Sombra Uncloaked by Sadhira.

Fanworks

Video Game

  • Loverwatch is a fan-made visual novel currently in development based on Overwatch. It's formally announced routes are for Bastion, Genji and Mei.

Fanfiction

  • Hang the Fool is a highly popular McCree/Hanzo fanfiction by AlmaMeDuele. As of 11/03/2017, it is the most popular Overwatch fanfiction on AO3 with over 275,000 hits.

Music

Fanwork Trends

There is a strong trend in Overwatch Fanworks for there to be a focus on angst or hurt/comfort. This is due to the occasionally very dark canon lore. Hurt/Comfort is especially prevalent in the Reaper:Soldier 76 fandom[5], as both characters carry deep scars, both physically and emotionally. Many characters, including Jesse McCree, Genji Shimada and Junkrat/Jamison Fawkes have also canonically lost limbs / body parts, which are another avenue for angst and hurt/comfort fics to prosper.

Interestingly, Overwatch is popular with fans who have never played the game. Some of the fandom have not played the game and instead are fans of the overall rich lore and characters.

Archives & Fannish Links

Resources

References

  1. Dad76 fanwork example - Mackkten
  2. 'Alternate Reality Game' Wikipedia
  3. 'Sombra ARG' Game Detectives
  4. 'Overwatch's Sombra ARG continues to irritate players' PC Gamer
  5. Hurt/Comfort Overwatch Fanfiction - Archive Of Our Own