For better or worse, the Overwatch community is highly adept at delving into every small detail Blizzard puts into the game. A few people noticed the sly clues Blizzard left hinting at Wrecking Ball’s reveal while many read too far into the “Sky Code” red herring leading up to Sombra’s release. And these amateur gumshoes are latching on to a new project: Overwatch barcodes. Blizzard has been slowly putting barcodes all over the game and people are trying to figure out what they mean, if they mean anything at all.
Reddit user Karahe recently laid out an entire post about these barcodes and where the appear both in the game and the Overwatch animated shorts. They show up on Wrecking Ball’s mech, a few maps, an event Junkrat skin, Brigitte’s armor, the Summer Games loot boxes, and in a ton of other places as demonstrated by this extensive Imgur album. While some of the objects are old, Karahe points out that Blizzard has been adding barcodes to new things like Brigitte’s armor and Wrecking Ball’s mech.
There’s speculation that these barcodes symbolize letters and spell out words since some of these might be too blurry to scan with a barcode reader. Some even think they might be Morse code. But the Overwatch community has been down this road before, as cynics are quick to point out. People tried to scan the blurry QR code Mei’s Endothermic Blaster earlier this year to no avail. It even became a joke a one point.
If any of these Overwatch barcodes mean something, then the detectives on the job have their work cut out for them. If these lead nowhere, which seems likely at these early stages, then it at least brings the community together. The aforementioned “Sky Code” from Sombra’s ARG never amounted to anything after all. Blizzard even poked fun at it by putting the Sky Code in the game as an emote for Sombra, as shown in the header image.
While this could all lead to something down the line, Blizzard is usually less subtle about their hints. Wrecking Ball’s teases were more concrete as Hammond’s name is blatantly labeled in the recently reworked Horizon Lunar Colony map. There were even carrots in his cage and calm emails about him being loose along with a sneaky symbol tease in one of the Lijiang Tower stages.
Karahe, while wanting to collaborate with others to dig deeper, admits they “trying many, many things but have honestly no idea what to do.” However, they still seem to have hope.