Blizzard's Overwatch has one of the most diverse cast of characters in a game. Each hero has their own quirk, and despite the game having an overt sci-fi fantasy feel to it, the characters are still relatable in some way. Well, some characters were so out there that they were too bizarre even for Overwatch's standards.
We had one hero who was just a hockey player. Literally a hockey player. We later made a Lucio skin for a hockey player. But he was just a hockey player hero. Then there was this one hero that was a huge internal debate on the team because we just loved it so much but it didn't make it. It was this jetpack and it had this cat that laid in it, like a cat does. Then every once in awhile it would paw at the controls. It was a cat in a jetpack.
So let's recap this real quick: they had plans on adding a guy who was just a hockey player? He was later going to be a skin for Lucio? In a way, that sort of makes sense. Lucio does have a bit of a street hockey vibe to him, but I certainly can't imagine him in an NHL jersey and padding. It seems a little out of the way, even for a game like Overwatch. Now, if this were Timesplitters, a guy in a hockey getup would fit in perfectly, since they had all manner of strange and crazy characters in that game.
Of course, a hockey player doesn't even come close to a cat in a jetpack. Like... what?
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the concept of a cat in a jetpack doing anything other than being a cute looking mascot. Heck, Kaplan even jokes about what it would look like seeing the little paws of the cat in first person, fumbling with the controls of the jetpack.
It doesn't sound like it was going to be a Rocket Raccoon-style cat who was self-aware with highly advanced cognitive abilities, either. It sounds like it would have been a domestic house cat who haphazardly ended up in a jetpack.
Kaplan does mention that there's still a certain structure of boundaries setup within Overwatch for how the characters are designed and how they play. Winston is a perfect example of a character who is completely out of the norm, but they found a way to normalize a talking gorilla and make him something likable, fun and entertaining. So it's not impossible to have a outlandish character in a game like Overwatch, but in the case of Winston there's a strong characterized narrative behind his design, and so it's a lot more focused than just a cat in a jetpack or a hockey player in a hockey outfit.
The latest character to join Overwatch's roster is Orisa, a centurion mech. Once again, it may sound crazy but the story behind Orisa helps it all tie into the lore of Blizzard's first-person shooter. The next character that a lot of gamers are hoping for is Doomfist, a character that Terry Crews has been lobbying to play. Based on the hints that they've released, I tend to doubt his design is going to be as crazy or bizarre as a cat in a jetpack.