If you’ve played Overwatch, then you know Mei, the adorable climatologist and adventurer (whose Ice Wall and Cryo-Freeze abilities make her anything but adorable in combat). According to some concept art that’s recently surfaced on Reddit, though, Mei-Ling Zhou’s origins used to be very different.
“Mei started out as a character concept codenamed ‘Frostbite,'” a description accompanying the concept art reads. “We knew that we wanted to have a hero whose abilities were related to ice and cold, but we didn’t have any other parameters. We went through the process of hero ideation and ultimately drew inspiration from the winter ice carving festivals in the northern parts of China. Slowly, the character of Mei took shape.
“Early on, the idea [was] that the character was an adventurer, adapted to cold environments and geared for mountaineering. We considered ideas like a bounty hunter who used freezing technology to capture her targets in ice. But Arnold Tsang drew a picture of a cute, nerdy scientist, and the ultimate concept for Mei was born. We imagined a character who was optimistic, loved adventure, and embodied the idea of a ‘normal’ person who could be inspired to take up the path of heroism.”
While Mei’s color scheme and other elements of her design are clearly visible in Frostbite design, the character seems to have a different personality—Frostbite seems ready to throw down at the slightest provocation. Even in her earliest designs, though, the character that would become Mei is geared up for winter and accompanied by Mei’s weather-modification drone.
Blizzard has promised that it’s working on a few new heroes for Overwatch, so a few future heroes are likely going through a similar redesign process right now.
Source: r/Overwatch on Reddit