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Overwatch Sombra ARG reaches new, seemingly anticlimactic milestone

We’re at 100 percent. Now what?

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

After months of teasing (and apparent leaks), Blizzard’s long-running alternate reality game for Overwatch — one that, players theorize, will conclude in the reveal of a new character, Sombra — looked like it was coming to an end today. Fans of the team-based shooter were paying close attention to a simple website that updated at a glacial pace over the course of many weeks, hoping that when a counter reached 100 percent, Sombra would be officially unveiled.

No such luck.

Instead, Overwatch fans were treated to an updated message on that website, The new message read:

...Transmisión finalizada - finalizando carga... ...Carga finalizada. Unidad Bastion E-54 comprometida...

That translates to, roughly, “Transmission complete. Completing load. Load complete. Unit E-54 Bastion compromised.” In other words, Sombra, a computer expert who had been hacking into an unidentified network over the course of the past eight weeks, had hacked into the last remaining Bastion unit, who is playable in Overwatch.

Blizzard released a new update for Overwatch today, right around the same time that the A Moment In Crime website was updated. Players quickly went digging to discover what was new. So far, they haven’t found much. Bastion doesn’t appear to have changed its behavior in the game.

The only new clue players have discovered is a message hidden in the A Moment In Crime website’s HTML. That message is:


That number looks awfully close to the versioning numbers Blizzard uses for Overwatch, but so far, players haven’t cracked the version number’s significance. Players have also noticed that the number of cosmetic items available per hero in Overwatch’s Hero Gallery appears to be a bit ... glitchy, indicating that if Sombra does appear soon, Blizzard may have more skins, emotes, sprays and voice lines queued up and ready to go for her arrival. That, or Overwatch’s latest update introduced a minor bug.

Players are currently hammering out other theories, including one where they’re monitoring Bastion’s blinking “eye” in the robot’s recently added Halloween-themed victory pose, just in case Bastion is now communicating via Morse code.

Regardless of players’ findings, many Overwatch fans are expressing fatigue and annoyance at the painfully slow unveiling of Sombra. One of the most popular threads on Reddit is titled “Blizzard please do not treat any heroes in the future like you have with Sombra.” It reads:

Let me start by saying some of the ARG stuff is cool. Like the website or small hints in game. However all this Sombra "hype" has reached a point where I'm completely sick and tired of hearing about her. Sure, I'm excited for a new hero. But at this point Sombra has become more of a meme than an actual character. And nothing they introduce with her will be able to live up to the, frankly frustrating, amount of hype she's been given. It seems like every time we're FINALLY going to see a release, it turns out to be yet another teaser.

I guess the short answer is I'm sick of hearing about her. And if this is how every hero is going to be treated from now on, I worry every character will be released to disappointment rather than excitement.

Many Overwatch players on the game’s subreddit appear to agree with that sentiment.

Blizzard treated the reveal of Overwatch’s first post-launch character, Ana, quite differently. The company dropped a few hints about her on Twitter one week, then made her playable the following week. That was in July, when the Sombra ARG kicked off in earnest.

Overwatch fans may have to ration their patience a bit longer, as Blizzard will hold its annual fan-focused convention, BlizzCon, in just a few weeks. BlizzCon 2016 will take place Nov. 4-5 in Anaheim, California. Hopefully, Sombra will emerge from the shadows before then, for the safety and sanity of all attendees.

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