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Blizzard cancels Overwatch graphic novel

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Overwatch: First Strike a victim of the game’s changing universe

Overwatch First Strike Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard’s full-length graphic novel set during the early years of Overwatch’s universe, Overwatch: First Strike, has been canceled, lead writer Michael Chu announced today. In a post on the official Overwatch forums, Chu said Blizzard “ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction.”

“The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis,” Chu explained. “In the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch.

“So for now the early adventures of Gabriel Reyes, Jack Morrison, Ana Amari, Reinhardt Wilhelm, Torbjörn Lindholm (and more!) wait for another day. But we know that this is a story that you are excited about, and it's one we still plan to tell.”

Overwatch: First Strike was scheduled to be released digitally in November, with a print version from Dark Horse Comics planned to ship in April 2017. The 100-page graphic novel was written by Micky Neilson and featured art from Ludo Lullabi.

Blizzard has already released nine comics — which are free to read at the game’s website — dedicated to fleshing out the story of Overwatch alongside a series of animated shorts.