Always looking for information and hidden files on the game and its future updates, the Overwatch Reddit community has come across some interesting data from the latest update files, perhaps pointing to a New Zealand-based Escort map.
How this would all fit into the game’s lore is unknown, as New Zealand is rarely (if at all) mentioned, while its island neighbour in Australia plays a rather significant role in the fallout from the Omnic Crisis.
Richard Gryffon, the Redditor that discovered the 2017 Summer Games icons, was rummaging through map_source228 folders and came across some rather interesting data that may indicate future maps.
While they admitted to not being able to find any audio, images or video, the consistent stream of content coming out of these datamining efforts suggest we may indeed be heading to New Zealand.
It’s worth noting that these could be concept ideas, although the data was found alongside information for the Horizon Lunar Colony, which launched yesterday on the live servers.
Hidden within the files is data named “maunganui_es”. This has the community hypothesising about the potential for a new map.
“Maunganui” is presumedly short for “Mount Maunganui”, which is a mountain in the city of Tauranga, New Zealand. The “es” at the end suggests “Escort”, which has ignited assumptions about it being a future escort map.
The mountain is climbable in real life, so it would be interesting to see how Blizzard would incorporate it as an escort map. Would it be merely a backdrop, or could we expect to actually escort a payload up the mountain?
The data’s existence also prompts questions about its place in the Overwatch universe, with only Roadhog having some ties to New Zealand, although that’s based purely on fan assumption.
While Blizzard has openly admitted to Roadhog being Australian, his real name is “Mako”, and his Islander and Toa skins point to him being Pacific Islander. The skins share themes from Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand, so it would make sense that, while he’s “nationality” is Australian, his heritage hails from New Zealand, presumedly Maori. Australia has a sizeable Maori population of more than 150,000, roughly a quarter of the total Maori indigenous population in New Zealand.
The other data discovered points to a Symmetra-based map from her home town of Utopaea, India. While the data file is called “Utopia”, it’s difficult to not make the connection, with the “c” next to the file name suggesting it would be a capture map.
The earliest we could expect these maps would be as part of the heavily rumoured 2017 Summer Games event, which is expected to start in the next few weeks.