My only wish the group making OW would be honest and do not come up with coward excuses about "content dilution", which is as much corporate bull**** as infamous EA with their "sense of accomplishments". Why not honestly say "romances are trouble not worth the resources spent on them"?
There is a game company - Spiders, which makes games... not to everyone's liking, let's put it like that. Some people (well, a lot) will call them "bad", for me - it's sort of acquainted taste and I do like the company for it's honesty. When they were asked why there is no female protagonist in their last game (The Technomancer), they said openly and directly: it cost twice as much to make VO for the game with two protagonists and we could not afford the second voice set. What's stopping Obsidian from admission "romances are too troublesome"?
Because, let's face it, they are.
Disclaimer: I love romances in the games. If the game has a romance in it, it means I will most likely at least try that game (if I can physically play it, OW as a FPS is not playable to me). Yet, with all my love to the feature, I am not blind to the problems its implementation brings to the development. Romance means emotions, hence, a lot of passionate public opinions. Romance means taste, hence - you can not possible give everyone what they want. There will be tons of accusations, starting from obvious mandatory copy/paste "all fem options are ugly feminists / males are the most boring kind of humans / gay romances are scarce and after-thought" and ending with detailed unfavorable analysis of every moment of each romance. Writing style of a romance will be the most criticized part of the plot. Romanced characters immediately become very limited in development both background-wise and story-wise: you make the companion "playersexual" - it looses the background (no previous relationship can be mentioned, no tastes can be expressed), you specify sexuality - you will never hear the end of it (why this and not that?!). If character is set for betrayal - for a romanced betrayer you will get all sort very expressionate "why-s" and "how-s" (rightfully so, btw ). Same with death, leaving, or any independent move, so, you better avoid it. And unlike game-mechanics you can not later balance or fix it, what's done is done.
So, with romances you will get some ecstatic grateful group of enthusiasts, but voices of those left unsatisfied can very well be be louder. Including romances is all risk with questionable profit (moral or material). Is there someone who does not understand it? Then why not say it?
I would still argue that these days people want more from their stories and romances are as good of a promotion feature as high level graphics, but it is still a risk. Honest admission of that simple facts would look better than a corporate political correctness talk.
the developer made bound by flame?
that game has a great ending scene when the ash dragon fly over
can't get into technomancer though
tried mace and failed