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First Recall, now Traveler – What’s Next for Blizzard?

Blizzard Entertainment’s been busy! (Alliteration, I adore you.)

During the latter half of March, Blizzard’s given fans something to fangirl over with its first animated short film, “Recall,” a new companion plush, and an announcement for a new book series for kids.

First, we were given the Overwatch animated short, “Recall.” Intercut with flashbacks to his peanut buttery childhood, “Recall” tells the story of Winston, a scientist gorilla, whose computer system is hacked by Reaper. Now, Winston, who is isolated from the heroes of Overwatch, has to decide whether to recall the heroes to return or not.

Players in the alpha may recognize Winston and Reaper as popular heroes in Blizzard’s highly anticipated first person shooter. The short film highlights Winston’s character abilities in game, including Tesla Cannon, Barrier Projector, and his ultimate ability, Primal Rage. The game currently has over 20 playable heroes from different backgrounds and cultures, including Egypt, Korea, America, and Russia.  

Known for its cinematics and in-game cutscenes, it feels like making short films is the logical next step. Blizzard’s set the bar high with the Pixar-esque “Recall,” proving that Blizz can excel at heartfelt and exciting shorts. Fans will be eager to hear that Blizzard has more Overwatch animated shorts in the works. (Side note: Please do a short for Mei. Because seriously, how freakin’ cute would it be to see her and her robot companion Snowball being all C3PO-Luke BFFs?)
winstonplush
Not long after “Recall” was released, Blizzard gave us a sneak peak at its Winston plush. And seconds after that, the internet collectively cried out, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”

All this brings us to yesterday, when Blizzard announced World of Warcraft: Traveler, its new collaboration with Scholastic for kids 8-12.  This isn’t Blizzard’s first foray into the book world – they’ve published over 17 novels based in worlds like Azeroth, but this is “will bring Azeroth to life for a whole new audience,” said Chris Metzen.

Here’s a summary from Scholastic’s website:

“It’s been years since twelve-year-old Aramar Thorne, a clever boy who is never without his precious sketch book, has seen his father. So when Captain Greydon Thorne comes ashore and asks his son to join him at sea, it feels as if someone has redrawn Aram’s entire world. Before he knows it, Aram is aboard the Wavestrider with Lakeshire fading to a distant dot on the horizon. But the thrill of adventure quickly fades, as Greydon relentlessly schools Aram on how to handle his cutlass and how to relate with the strange and diverse creatures of Azeroth. In addition, Aram struggles to get along with the Wavestrider’s crew—especially second mate Makasa, a tough teenaged girl who has been reluctantly placed in charge of him. Just as Aram starts to get his head above water, a band of vicious pirates attack the Wavestrider, turning his world upside down once again. As Aram tries to find his way home with his father’s compass in hand, he’ll travel across Azeroth’s beautiful and hostile terrain, encountering creatures both terrible and wondrous. He’ll seek to understand Azeroth’s denizens as he draws them in his sketchbook, forming unlikely friendships along the way. But the journey is hindered by Greydon’s compass, which never points north. If the compass isn’t leading Aram and Makasa home–to safety–to what destiny is it leading them?”

Traveler is written by Greg Weisman, and will have artwork by Samwise Didier inside. The book is set to release this November, which makes you wonder, will there be some more news about this series at BlizzCon?

What are you most excited about? What heroes do you want to see featured in Overwatch animated shorts?

Written by Deva M. Gregory

Deva is a fiction writer, actor, and honorary Krogan from the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite companies include Blizzard Entertainment and Bioware. She is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter, but will also settle for the Tardis landing in her front yard. You can read more about her at devamarie.com.

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