While you probably won't notice this in-game, Overwatch has quite an expansive and story-rich world. Unfortunately for us lore fans, there are very few ways to actually learn more about it. The occasional animated short helped expand upon some of the concepts, but when it comes to figuring out what really happened with the original Overwatch crew we're pretty much just stumbling through the dark.
This is why the Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel was so significant. It was to be our first glimpse into the early days of Overwatch, and more importantly, into what exactly happened between Soldier 76 and Reaper that set them so far apart. Sadly these are going to be stories for another time as Blizzard has announced that the First Strike graphic novel has now been canceled. As for the reason why, this is what they had to say:
"I wanted to let you know that we have decided to cancel the release of the Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel. While we are grateful to the team for the fantastic work they put into it, we've 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. 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.
I'd like to thank everyone for the enthusiasm, passion, and support you've shown towards the Overwatch universe. We have a number of stories in development that will delve deeper into the world and its heroes, and we can't wait to share them with you in the coming months."
As someone that was looking forward to its upcoming release I must admit this is a rather sad bit of news, but if the story has changed so much that the graphic novel is now completely outdated I suppose its for the best.If nothing else, at least we now have a direct confirmation from the Lead Writer that there are a "number of stories" arriving in the next few months! Hopefully along with an animated short, because that Zarya teaser during Sombra's Infiltration video was quite clearly setting up something of importance.