Overwatch 2 Devs Want to Continue Loverwatch Dating Sim Project
Love never dies.
Loverwatch, the Overwatch 2 dating sim, debuted just before Valentine’s Day. Basically, Blizzard gifted Overwatch 2 fans with the option to date Mercy and Genji from their browser. And we all appreciated the loving gesture, which itself feels like a surprising direction for Blizzard to take the franchise. How did Loverwatch come to be? Could we see more romantic antics in the future? According to some of its developers, they sure hope so.
Loverwatch grounds the player in the Laff Attic, a tragically unfunny comedy club, with Mercy and Genji. Cupid, who is definitely not Hanzo Shimada, helps you win the heart of the person you choose to approach. It’s a game that cheekily plays with the lore behind the characters but also fully acknowledges that it’s not canon and flanderizes the characters’ personalities for the sake of fun.
Overwatch 2 now has over 35 characters, but Loverwatch only has three (if you count the secret ending) romance options. Other cameos include Ana and Zenyatta, who both appear very briefly during your dates but don’t have their own routes. It only takes about an hour to play through all the paths and unlock the secret ending. Mercy and Genji are certainly beloved, but such a slim experience leaves us all wanting more.
“The fact that you cannot date Winston shows the severe disconnect between Blizzard and their audience,” a Winston fan tweeted. “My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.”
The fan fervor isn’t lost on the narrative design team. Narrative Designer Kyungseo Min called it a “harrowing day” when they needed to pick just two characters. All the heroes were in the running as possible candidates for the dating sim, including newer options like Junker Queen. Ultimately, the team decided on Mercy and Genji for two main reasons:
“They are long-standing heroes in our roster,” Min tells Inverse. “There is a wealth of lore and a wealth of community jokes and memes, so we wanted to really pull on those for Loverwatch.”
Within the lore of the game, Genji nearly lost his life in a confrontation with his brother, Hanzo. The Overwatch organization rebuilt Genji as a cyborg and enlisted him as an operative in the covert task force called Blackwatch. But it was Dr. Angela “Mercy” Ziegler who saved his life using nanobiotic technology, and she nursed him back to health. Between their personal history and tidbits hinted at through in-game dialogue, there’s more than enough fodder that “Gency” is one of the most popular Overwatch ships. So it’s only natural that they’d be the first two lovers in Loverwatch.
“Second, they are very different personalities, and we really try to emphasize that,” Min says. “So we wanted to give players a variety of experiences.”
Min wrote the Mercy path and her colleague, Senior Narrative Designer Miranda Moyer, wrote the Genji path. Each route pokes fun at each of the characters with the community jokes Min mentioned, like the option to go up to Genji and ask, “Do you need healing?” The team also purposely avoided oversexualizing the dialogue so that those not looking for a “steamy” experience could enjoy the game as much as everyone else.
When asked if Loverwatch would be expanding into a wider project, Overwatch Brand Manager Beth Bryson confirmed that it was possible but “no promises.”
“The hope is that player response is big enough that we can explore other avenues,” Bryson says. “I think there’s a very large appetite for that within the team, but no promises.”
So if Overwatch fans want to see more of their favorite characters featured in an official dating sim, the best thing they can do is play and talk about Loverwatch as much as possible.
“We certainly make a stronger case for ourselves if players are jumping in and enjoying it,” Bryson says.
Moyer reiterates that choosing only two characters was a difficult task, but added, “There is absolutely a lot of enthusiasm behind this project and we have a ton of ideas for the rest of the cast.”
But who would be the most likely heroes featured next?