Overwatch 2 director reveals King’s Row’s wild original design

Eleni Thomas
King's Row original design header image
Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller recently uploaded a photo online of the original design for the now iconic Overwatch map King’s Row. It’s safe to say that the initial concept versus the final product is widely different.

King’s Row is arguably Overwatch’s most iconic map. The streets of London have been trampled by millions of players, pushing the payload through the maze of townhouses in a steampunk-esque setting.

While that vibe has always rung true for Overwatch developers, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller went on Twitter to reveal some early concept art for King’s Row — and it’s vastly different.

In Keller’s tweet, he pokes fun at their early concept work for the map. “Going through my documents and found this early top down map of King’s Row. The control point used to be in the parking garage under an embassy.”

While the final product does look very different to this early map design, what’s interesting is that certain locations, as well as smaller details and areas, did end up making it into the finished map. For example, the Pub still has the walkway around it and the zigzag around Robot City is something that appears to have always been a part of King’s Row. 

One thing to note is how much more compact the original design of King’s Row appears to have been. Part of why players love the current design of the map so much is how vast it is. It offers up open and free gameplay but also includes tight corners and areas for close quarters. 

The initial concept appears to have been very claustrophobic and would have likely led to a lot of bogging down and clustered player engagement. However, fans have been expressing online how cool it would be to have all these early designs released and playable at some point in the future.

King's Row original design
Blizzard Entertainment
King’s Row is one of the oldest and most beloved Overwatch maps of all time.

As it stands, King’s Row is a Hybrid map and was one of the first that fans were able to play through. When attacking, teams can choose to either flank around on the left or go straight to the first point in a more direct attack. 

From there, the map opens up through the center before then tightening up in the third section, making it easy for players to flank opponents. 

With lots of other behind-the-scenes details being revealed by Blizzard, it’ll be interesting to see if more of these early map designs are released in the future.