During a press event, Overwatch game director, Jeff Kaplan, stated that the team has considered killing off a playable Overwatch hero for the sake of spicing up the game’s present-day plot.
The press event took place at Blizzard HQ and was reported by Kotaku after a question on Overwatch’s current day plot was raised during the Q/A session.
Kaplan has said that there is no need to fear being unable to play a slain hero since they would never remove them from the roster; however, the intent is not to simply kill someone from the roster for the sake of the shock factor.
With that said, Kaplan believes that none of their characters have been developed well enough for any significant impact should they die; therefore, though the plot will probably eventually kill off someone, the time for it is not right.
Overwatch has had its story focus mainly on the past, but it is clear they wish to fully consider the present-day state of affairs moving forward. The plan was to build upon the backstories for people of import within the game, such as Widowmaker and Reaper, before ever doing so.
Reaper has been expanded upon with the advent of Retribution a week ago and Kaplan believes that more similar events are needed to build upon the heroes from the game.
“It wouldn’t mean a lot if we killed off a character at this point, because you didn’t know a lot about them,” Kaplan said.
He also went on to say that there is room in Overwatch’s canon for heroes to die, bringing up the example of Widowmaker’s husband, Gerard, whose death earned her that name.
The death of a character from the game’s roster may be powerful, should Kaplan follow up on his promise to expand on their character and story beforehand, but its negligible impact on the gameplay may weaken the emotional response such an event deserves.