Overwatch Winston
Winston in an animated short for Overwatch. Blizzard

Blizzard has begun teasing something new in the world of its hit hero shooter Overwatch, something sure to stir its legion of fans up into a frenzy. The tease involves a mysterious aspect of the game's lore involving a scientific research facility on the moon.

The new tease may suggest a location for new maps, as well as setting up a new character who could be the game's next playable hero. It may also be teeing up a new animated short film fleshing out the Overwatch story.

"For the first time in years after Horizon Lunar Colony went offline, new information has been revealed as to the fate of the program," says the new post on the Overwatch website.

It's already established that a company called Lucheng Interstellar set up a facility to genetically engineer gorillas on the moon.

This is where Overwatch hero Winston was born and raised by the humans, as he was among the more intelligent products of the experiments.

There was an uprising among the other apes, but fans have known little about the event, until now.

The new post includes images depicting an exchange of messages between scientists at the facility, fleshing out what happened. In the messages characters including Winston describe troublemakers among the apes and confining them to their quarters.

Special mention is made of a character called Hammond, described as a "smaller test subject", suggesting he may not be a gorilla, but possibly another kind of primate.

The final image is an overview of the lunar facility, showing a list of "specimens" that have been tracked by Lucheng's monitoring systems, and two that have not been found: Winston and Hammond.

An area of the facility called the observatory is highlighted, suggesting that's where Winston and Hammond must be.

Blizzard's latest post is in line with suggestions that a moon-based map is coming to the game, which began with audio files datamined from past live events for Overwatch. The images may also be teasing Hammond as the game's 25th playable character, but like the introduction of Efi Oladele shortly before hero 24 Orisa was revealed, this may be a case of misdirection.

The post could also be teasing a new animation short, which has been promised, a new web comic or a new live event. Although, with the one-year anniversary celebration event ongoing, a new event won't be starting for a while at least.

In April Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan told IBTimes UK that the game's next hero was "very far along in development". Later that month Kaplan revealed there were six maps in development for release during 2017.

The three "non-standard" maps Kaplan discussed in this story are likely the three Arena maps released for the anniversary event that started last week.

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