When Doomfist was announced, everyone was scrambling to see who voiced him. Was it Terry Crews like the community had been clamoring for? To the chagrin of many, it was not Crews. Instead, Blizzard went with the very talented Sahr Ngaujah. The community was, of course, disappointed that their choice for the role was not cast. Fret not friends, Blizzard made the best choice for the game you love.
Here is the thing: we all wanted Terry Crews. You can talk to almost anyone who is vaguely familiar with Overwatch and they will have heard something about a campaign for Crews to be Doomfist. However, it is important to remember what Crews is up to on a regular basis. He is a series regular on the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, having been credited in all 90 episodes. He appears in movies frequently, and according to his IMDB page he is currently working on four unreleased projects. This does not include his recently announced role in Crackdown 3.
Crews is a busy man to be sure, constantly doing new things and jumping between projects. A quick glance at Ngaujah’s IMDB will show you that he is also fairly busy, having done several projects already since his work as Doomfist. However, while Ngaujah is a Tony award nominated actor, he does not bring with him the kind of baggage that Crews does. We, as an audience can make a quick assumption that Ngaujah will be available to record when Blizzard calls, at least, more available than Crews.
Think back to all the wonderful videos that the Overwatch voice cast put on together and think about how much you would miss them if one of the actors was simply too busy.
You know, like this one.
Many of the very talented actors who work on Overwatch are recognizable. You have probably heard or even seen them before. Ironically, Ngaujah may be one of the most famous actors in the Overwatch cast. That being said, he is currently not the level of famous as Terry Crews. Crews is a household name, someone who you could bring up to a friend, describe him and they would know who you were talking about. It is doubtless that Ngaujah has many, many fans, but he could walk the streets without people shouting for his autograph. There is a difference here that seems semantic but is so key.
Part of the reason you love Overwatch — part of the reason I love Overwatch — is how alive the game feels. I don’t just mean in an atmospheric way, but in the culture that surrounds it. The voice actors, the developers and even this very website. The events that Blizzard puts on for the community, for holidays or what have you, are crucial to keeping that feeling. Even if you don’t care when you open a box and get a voice line, plenty of others do. In order to make Doomfist feel real, to make him fit in with the rest of the colorful cast, his actor needs to be available when Blizzard calls.
We all love Terry Crews and we can all hope that he shows up in the Overwatch lore as a one off character sooner or later (maybe as a previous Doomfist?). But we don’t have Crews, we have Ngaujah. If you have played Doomfist or listed to his lines or watched any of his videos you know the deal: Sahr Ngaujah is perfect casting for Doomfist. All of his work is excellent in the game so far. The best part? We haven’t heard the last of him.
You can absolutely be sad about Crews if you want, but try your hardest not to forget that Blizzard took care of us in spite of ourselves.