There is no story in Overwatch. Even if you didn’t know this before somehow, you probably picked up on this fact because the addition of a story is one of the main features advertised for Overwatch 2. However, game director Jeff Kaplan insists that the primary reason Sojourn was held back for so long was due to unspecified story reasons. Players had been upset for some time due to the fact that Sojourn is a black woman, a demographic generally underrepresented in games and not represented at all in Overwatch as of this writing. Kaplan acknowledges that players were upset with the long delay in her arrival, but insists that his goal was to adhere to the game’s internally decided story rather than rush the character out:
I personally feel like the right thing to do by the character is still deliver on that story and not just rush her out because the community is upset with us. I tend to find that there’s always a community upset with us over something. I’ve mentioned this before, but the real value of Overwatch inclusivity is the idea that we’re open-minded, that we want everybody to feel welcome into the universe, and the result of that is diversity.
It is worth noting, again, that Overwatch does not actually have any story in-game, nor is there an explained story reason for most of the other additions to the game’s roster beyond “we wanted to do this character next.” (At least Cowboy Jennifer Hale was part of an intro short.) Kaplan also feels the need to stress that the game cannot possibly “represent all the people on the planet,” which brings to mind meetings in which the developers are making sure that the crucial “hypersmart gorilla,” “hamster in a mech suit,” “bird-watching robot,” and “old man barefoot fetishist” demographics are represented.
But, hey, Sojourn does look cool.