The definitive Overwatch timeline

Everything you need to know about the formation of Overwatch, The Omnic Crisis, baby space gorillas and more.

Overwatch is an exciting team-based shooter that’s benefited from a healthy beta period. But developer Blizzard has also blessed it with a huge backstory.

While ​Overwatch​ doesn’t have a campaign or story mode, it still has a lot of history, thanks to its many animated shorts, webcomics, tweets, character bios, press events and more. We’ve sifted through all of it and assembled it into one easily digestible timeline.

Let’s dive into the world, the events that caused the formation of the international task force known as Overwatch and its fall from grace. We stitched together all the breadcrumbs Blizzard has given us in one place.

The World of Overwatch

In the world of Overwatch, humanity was graced with a golden age of technology, peace and exploration. On the exploration front, humans built the Horizon Lunar Colony. Their focus on the exploration of space, but also an active research facility. It was manned by a league of scientists and genetically engineered gorillas were there to test the effects of prolonged habitation in space.

One of the biggest breakthroughs in the world was the development of omnics, robots with advanced artificial intelligence. Omnics were a leading force in bolstering global manufacturing efforts and key in creating economic equality around the world. The robots driven by these AIs became ubiquitous. The world built large facilities called omniums in every major cultural center to churn them out.

Disaster came when the Horizon Lunar Base and its population of hyper intelligent gorillas revolted. The gorillas killed all the scientists on the base and all but one of the gorillas maintained their hostility. Around the same time, something happened to the world's omnium facilities, putting the world into crisis.

The Omnic Crisis and the formation of Overwatch

The Omnic Crisis was an event that threatened the stability of the entire world. While Blizzard hasn't revealed the actual cause of the crisis, we know that that the world's omniums began producing hostile omnics. All at once, each omnium independently started producing violent robots, many of them being Bastion units. Omniums created Bastion units specifically for combat and were the main force of the Omnic Crisis.

All around the world, omnics that once helped us become a stable society turned and attacked mankind. To respond to this threat, the United Nations formed Overwatch, a task force of soldiers and scientists. In its early days, Overwatch was led by Gabriel Reyes and Jack Morrison, with Reyes initially at the helm. But Morrison’s proficiency on the battlefield helped him take control of the group from Reyes soon after. No longer in command of Overwatch, Reyes took control of Blackwatch, its covert operations unit.

The Omnic Crisis exposed many other capable individuals. Among them were climate scientist Mei-Ling Zhou, former gang member and expert marksman Jesse McCree and German juggernaut Reinhardt Wilhelm.

"The Overwatch Generation"

After the end of the Omnic Crisis, Overwatch maintained order and peace. It was an era of heroism that lasted for a few decades. Their influence on society was so strong that anyone born during their golden age was called "The Overwatch Generation."

The Fall of Overwatch

While Overwatch's era of peace and heroism lasted for decades, their fall came suddenly and ended with a bang. Infighting between Reyes and Morrison ran parallel with accusations of uncharacteristically corrupt behavior. In the midst of a United Nations investigation, fighting broke out at Overwatch's headquarters, destroying the facility and presumably taking Reyes and Morrison with it.

These events, including the signing of the Petras Act, a document stating that any Overwatch related activity was illegal, finally forced Overwatch to disband.

The Recall

The days of Overwatch are over and the world is falling back into darkness. Fighting is happening around the world and the era of heroism that Overwatch maintained is slowly fading away. Gangs are becoming more prominent around the world as big corporations are taking over the land. And in Russia, a second Omnic Crisis is under way.

Do you have any theories about the events of Overwatch so far? If so, let us know in the comments!

If you're looking to improve your game, check out our Overwatch character guide.