While in Overwatch 2, these characters are larger-than-life heroes, this approach lets Loverwatch take time to humanize them. “For Genji in particular, I really wanted to hit home on the kind of head-empty golden retriever energy,” Moyer says of the storyline she wrote.
“[Mercy’s] just so awkward,” Min adds. “I was like, she was probably so busy getting two PhDs before the age of 18 that she probably didn’t have much time to socialize. But she’s still so sure of herself.” Without spoiling specifics, this outlook shows up in both characters’ storylines where these people that you may have spent hundreds of hours playing as, suddenly get to be massive dorks at dinner.
While there’s more that I could say about the characters in this game, it’s a short enough experience that it’s worth playing for yourself. But suffice it to say that the Cupid Hanzo memes are probably on their way.
“When Can I Date Moira?”
The only truly disappointing aspect of Loverwatch is how little of it there is. It’s a bit of a meme in the Overwatch community that lore drops can be somewhat sporadic (and the dating sim even pokes fun at this at time,) so this feels simultaneously like a deep dive into extra-canonical lore, but also a tease for what more there could be.
So far, Blizzard hasn’t committed to adding anything else to Loverwatch, but the possibility is there. “That’s the hope. I mean, if this is well received by players,” marketing manager Beth Bryson tells WIRED, “No promises, but absolutely the hope would be that we will be able to potentially expand this experience in the future.”
There’s no shortage of characters to expand the dating roster with, either. There are currently 36 playable heroes in Overwatch 2, with new ones arriving every other 9-week season. And according to the writers I spoke to, it seems like none of them are off the table for a potential follow up.
I asked them all who they’d most like to see get a Loverwatch storyline in the future. “Ramattra,” Bryson said, referring to the game’s newest, buffest tank. “He’s so angsty! We stan an angsty omnic.”
“You could heal him,” Min chimes in, before adding her own pick. “My choice would be—this sounds really weird—the mech, the Wrecking Ball mech.” In Overwatch 2, Wrecking Ball is a character that consists of a hyper-intelligent hamster named Hammond, piloting a giant ball-shaped mech.
“I had this whole outline in my head of just like, Hammond is the parent and there’s a curfew,” Min elaborates. “And you help the mech understand human emotions and help it translate what it means to embark on the journey of love.”
The non-canonical nature of Loverwatch means that the game is free to explore ideas like this without being bound to the lore or even logic of the full game itself. And that might just make this little mini-game one of the most exciting things to happen to Overwatch in a long time.
For years, the characters in the game have been its biggest strength. Each one full of personality, with clear identities, strengths, weaknesses, and relationships. But most of that has only been touched on in the occasional animated short, comic book, or the odd voice line and map easter egg.
Until the long-awaited PVE mode arrives—or until we finally get an Arcane-style Overwatch anime,—this dating sim might be the best glimpse we get into the characters we’ve spent nearly seven years playing with.