Blizzard has gone all out in the past when it teases Overwatch characters. Sombra even had an associated ARG, as well as various hints and clues scattered around the game and the internet. Now Blizzard is teasing the next Overwatch character with a fictional interview. At least, we think Blizzard is teasing the next character.
Blizzard updated the Overwatch site with a “Spotlight on Numbani” article that interviews a fictional little girl, Efi Oladele, who won a “genius grant” for her accomplishments in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. The article implies that Efi Oladele might be, or at the very least is connected to, the next playable character in Overwatch.
The fictional interview stresses that although Oladele is only eleven years old, she is a master in robotics and artificial intelligence. She has made drones and robots that do her chores for her. While it is considered unlikely that she will join the fray given her age, if Oladele is a playable character her abilities could revolve around helper drones and robots. These drones could be offensive, like Symmetra’s or Torbjorn’s turrets, or supportive, like Zenyatta’s various Orb abilities.
“I want to create things that make our lives better. And someday, my dream is to build something that can keep us safe, like the new OR15s! I think that would be great,” she says in the interview.
Oladele’s admiration for “OR15s” is compelling. We know little about these OR15s other than Odele’s statement that they are new and designed to protect people. Some Overwatch players claim they are the giant robots in the Volskaya Industries map, while others believe Blizzard has yet to finalize the designs for the OR15s. Given Blizzard’s tendency to hide hints in plain sight, OR15s could easily be the mechs featured in the Sombra animated short “Infiltration,” backed up by Katya Volskaya’s announcement, “[these are Volskaya Industries’] first new mechs in a decade.” If this statement turns out to be true, then Efi Oladele could easily be another mech pilot alongside D.Va. Alternatively, Oladele could remotely control her mech without ever entering the battlefield, or the mech could pilot itself with one of Oladele’s custom A.I. programs.
Blizzard could easily be tossing gamers a red herring, and Oladele could still turn out to have a connection to Doomfist, the character fans have expected to join the roster next. That said, posting on the forums late last week, Game Director Jeff Kaplan teased, “[The next character] is not who you think it is,” leaving most fan theories still up in the air.
Until Blizzard releases more, we can do little more than speculate. Maybe Blizzard included junk code in the page source that hides various hints and clues. Or maybe Blizzard will release future “Spotlight on Numbani” articles that reveal some other character altogether. It might be a robot Oladele builds with her grant money, or someone (possibly Doomfist) she meets on a trip, who will be a future playable character instead of Oladele. We here at Gamespresso cannot say for certain, but we will continue to cover these and other Overwatch teasers as they release.