Overwatch 2: Invasion may be moments away from dropping, but the dominant dialogue isn’t about the new PvE mode, the new support player, or even the new map—it’s whether or not Blizzard is deleting Reaper. A viral TikTok sent players into a frenzy worrying about whether or not the staple character would be removed in the upcoming Invasion patch. Kotaku can confidently report that no, Overwatch 2 isn’t getting rid of a DPS character who’s been there since the original game’s 2016 release, and you should probably not believe a TikTok at face value.
An August 8 TikTok from KnockKnockOW, a self-proclaimed “guy who was [top] 500 in OW1,” shows Reaper gameplay with a picture overlay that appears to be an official Blizzard blog penned by game director Aaron Keller. The “blog post,” titled “A Farewell to Reaper,” reads:
Arriving with Season 6: Invasion we have made a very difficult decision with regards to Reaper. Due to ongoing development and balance considerations, Reaper will be removed from Overwatch 2. We understand that Reaper has been a staple of the game since its inception, but we believe this change will allow us to explore new and exciting gameplay dynamics while addressing some long-standing concerns.
The voiceover goes on to complain about a Sombra hack orb (which doesn’t exist) and a Roadhog movement ability (which also doesn’t exist), and wonders in an impressively flat deadpan how Blizzard can “keep getting away with this.”
“I’ve been making this satirical style Overwatch content for a while now, but I never expected to become ‘The Onion of Overwatch,’ KnockKnock told Kotaku via DM. “I usually make custom patches within the Overwatch Workshop and play them off as patches, sneaking the game codes into videos so observant viewers have a chance to play them. The Reaper one is particular isn’t even one of my more popular ones, so I’m surprised it’s blowing up as much as it did. I guess players just really love Reaper and were sad to see him go.”
This is so obviously a joke, and another example of silly, trolly TikToks spreading misinformation about Overwatch updates and reworks—like this one from July 1 that claims a Sombra patch was giving her an ability to spawn three decoys with 50HP each. Comments on that video include people lamenting Sombra’s “ruin” and yelling about Blizzard.
I didn’t even know about the Reaper rumor until last night, when one of my friends who I regularly play with asked “so are they really getting rid of Reaper?” (bless his heart) in the middle of a match. Luckily for him, I was a little stoned, and glossed over it, believing he was just saying silly shit. But when I logged on today and saw that there was a drastic increase in Google searches for “Overwatch Reaper removed,” I knew something was up.
Sadly, this is yet another reminder that media literacy is vitally important in this increasingly digital age when AI language processing tools like ChatGPT are being used to generate articles (to varying levels of, um, success) and misinformation flows freely. Reaper is still in Overwatch 2, guys. Chill.