Blizzard Entertainment appears to be ramping up to a reveal of a new hero for Overwatch, posting an “interview” with a previously unseen character: 11-year-old robotics and artificial intelligence prodigy Efi Oladele, a native of Numbani.
The interview with Efi was posted on the Overwatch website under the Atlas News byline, the same byline used to provide early details or background on the game’s other characters, including Sombra and Soldier: 76.
While it seems unlikely that an 11-year-old would be the game’s next hero — pulling off sick headshots as Widowmaker on a little kid might just feel weird — it’s Efi’s expertise in building things that may point to who (or what) is coming to Overwatch next. From the interview:
How did you get into robots and artificial intelligence?
Well, I've always been interested. After my mom and dad got me my first robotics kit, I became obsessed with putting together little drones. When I started to get good at it, I tried to build robots to do my chores and help around the house. My parents think it's cheating… It's no fair! (laughs)
I want to create things that make our lives better. And someday, my dream is to build something that can keep us safe, like the new OR15s! I think that would be great.
The interview concludes with Efi teasing that she plans to use funds from a grant to work on a secret project. Current speculation from fans is that Efi won’t be on the battlefield herself, but will fight with robots or drones from a safe distance.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan said late last year — just prior to the reveal of Sombra — that the development team had at least one new hero in the prototype stage. Kaplan later said that multiple new heroes were in the works, but not all will see the light of day. This past week, Kaplan noted in the game’s forums that Overwatch’s 24th hero “is not who you think it is,” curbing speculation from fans that Doomfist — an evil force that has loomed large in Overwatch lore and someone that fans hope will be voiced by actor Terry Crews — was coming to the game as a playable character.
Blizzard has released two additional characters for Overwatch since the game’s release last May. Ana, the support sniper, officially arrived in July. She was followed by Sombra in November.
Update: Blizzard has another Efi-related tease for Overwatch fans today. In an image posted to Twitter, we see a parts list put together by Efi that indicates she’ll be repurposing an OR15 defense unit with some custom components. She even has a color scheme picked out for ... whatever it is that she’s making.
[UPDATE] Genius grant recipient and Numbani local Efi Oladele posts curious image on her holovid channel, declaring: "Time to get to work!" pic.twitter.com/lQSzzD5ZT5— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) February 27, 2017