Designing a video game is no easy task. Developers spend a huge amount of time working on ideas and creating concept art of characters and environments that might appear in the game. The vast majority of titles will go through several iterations and see some characters cut and others added as a studio tests their games.
Concept artists often produce hundreds of designs for every single individual that will feature in the game. That was certainly the case with Overwatch. Although many of them never made it into the final product, that isn’t because they are bad designs. Some of the artwork just didn’t fit in with the stylized tone of the game while others will have been cut due to time constraints. It’s just a shame that so many great ideas have gone unused.
20 Mech Tracer
Tracer is probably the most well known hero in Overwatch. However, concept art shown during a reveal stream from Blizzard for a new Hammond skin showed an alternate version of the warrior. If this concept had been realized it would have seen her travel around in a mech in much the same way as D.Va.
19 Alternative Junkrat
This alternate version of Junkrat was first shown in the Art of Overwatch. It shows the character with a very different appearance. In fact, he looks more realistic rather than stylized, giving the hero the visuals of a grizzled soldier who looks like he has seen plenty of action in the field.
18 Bazooka Monkey
Overwatch already has one animal-like creature in the form of the gorilla Winston. So seeing another one would not be completely out of the question. This piece of concept art, which was revealed during a live stream from Blizzard, showed a small monkey armed with a bazooka. Who wouldn’t want to take control of this little guy?
17 San Joaquin
San Joaquin is an area that would have potentially made a very fun arena for Overwatch multiplayer matches. Its a completely rural environment unlike the vast majority of the other maps within the game. The map was first conceived during the very early stages of the development of the title.
16 Alternative Ana
Ana is a popular support character in Overwatch. The former sniper is shown in early concept work in a far more realistic manner more than the stylized version that is present in the final game. It would also have given her an older appearance to match the fact that she has plenty of experience and was a soldier.
15 Stealth Sombra
This early version of Sombra appears to give the Overwatch infiltrator a more stealthy look, while giving her an otherworldly appearance thanks to the glowing purple clothing. It would have been interesting to see how the different elements shown would have contributed to the gameplay in terms of staying hidden.
One of the first maps pitched for Overwatch while it was in the early stages of development was Galapagos. This would have seen the islands of the Pacific ocean become a battleground for all of the heroes. Having an environment made of islands would have provided lots of opportunity for tactical and tense combat.
13 Alternate Sombra
Unlike the version of Sombra that we ended up getting, this alternate skin would have given her a far more unconventional appearance. Her costume and general look are almost exactly what you would expect from a hacker, while this concept would have meant she was given a less obvious look.
12 Bulky Pharah
Pharah is an agile hero in Overwatch who is able to maneuver around the battlefield. This look would have made her look less vulnerable, as she clearly has bulkier armor. The Egyptian fighter might well have been able to take a bit more damage while on the ground if this was how she had appeared in the game.
11 Jetpack Cat
Although this concept never made it to an advanced stage, it did show a rather interesting character. The hero would have seen a cat ride around maps using a jetpack that it could control with its paws. It was cut because the developers felt it was a bit too ridiculous even for Overwatch, as the designers wanted to keep a certain level of realism.
Sojourn has never appeared as a hero in Overwatch. However, she has shown up in outside of the shooter in other material. She has been through various stages of development since she was first proposed back in 2014 but has still not made it into the main game as a hero.
9 Spider Laser
Shown on the screen stage at the 2017 DICE Summit during a presentation by the developers, this concept art showed a giant robotic insect character. The standout weapon is a huge laser it shoots from its front. It has so far not shown up in the game and seems to be unused but could be under development to appear in the future.
8 Flying Animals
Although the vast majority of heroes in Overwatch are humans or at least human-like characters, there are some exceptions. If this concept art is anything to go by, the developers wanted a lot more animal-based heroes in the game. These drawings show a collection of flying creatures that could have made the game even more exciting.
7 Armored Junkrat
This is an alternative version of Junkrat in Overwatch. Its a very different look for the character that would have seen him with a bulky appearance and armor rather than the skinny and individual that is in the main game. If this hero was in the game it might have been better suited to be another character, although everyone would have loved to see those spikes and huge teeth.
6 The Iris
This concept art shows a map known as The Iris. It was in early development when Overwatch was first pitched but never made it past the concept phase. From the little that we have seen of the map, it would look to be a high-tech environment filled with blue energy and blue surfaces.
5 Robot Walker Riding Lemur
This piece of concept art appears to show some sort of lemur-like creature riding on top of what can only be described as a robotic walker. It could even be a mechanical spider like the tachikoma from the Ghost in the Shell series. This type of hero could certainly provide some interesting strategies.
4 Alternative Tracer
These alternative versions of Tracer show what the character could have looked like if the developers did not stick with the end result that is in Overwatch. The earlier skins give the hero a gruffer look, as if she has been involved in many battles and has the scars to prove it.
3 Hockey Guy
There are not many video game characters based on hockey players and Overwatch is no different. That could have been very different, though, if this concept art is anything to go by. Having a hockey player fighting against the other heroes would have been a cool idea, especially if he could integrate his sports skills.
2 Bomber Man
The best way to describe this hero would be to say that he looks as if he is a Big Daddy from BioShock. With a giant harpoon like weapon and a bulky suit of armor, this unused concept could easily have been a slow tank hero who would allow for more interesting match-ups.
London as a concept would have been a very interesting idea as it would have been a very different experience to most of the maps that are currently in the multiplayer title. The developers actually put a lot of effort into designing this potential map, coming up with a lot of backstory for the King’s Row area.
Sources: Gamepedia.com, VG247.com, Kotaku.com, IGN.com, GamesRadar.com, and PCGamesN.com.