Blizzard revealed more of Echo's lore on the Overwatch website Thursday following the hero's release on the Public Test Realm.
Echo was created by Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, according to Echo's "Story" section. Before joining Overwatch as one of its founding members, Dr. Liao worked for Omnica Corporation as one of the world's foremost robotics and artificial intelligence. Her designs were among those that rose up against humanity during the Omnic Crisis.
Joining Overwatch gave Liao the chance to continue her experiments and advance the cause of Omnic rights. Overwatch's limits on artificial intelligence research resulted in Liao creating Echo as a multirole, adaptive robot that could be programmed to learn medical support, construction, or any number of other skills.
Echo initially had limits on her ability to make decisions independently, lacking the autonomy she has now. Buried beneath failsafes and protections, Liao imbued her with a powerful A.I. that learned by observation. Echo learned to speak from Liao, taking on her voice and mannerisms.
McCree was one of very few people to know Echo's true potential thanks to his time spent guarding Liao.
Liao was killed in an attack on Overwatch, and Overwatch's leadership put Echo into quarantine. McCree broke her out in the "Reunion" animated short, and she made her first appearance as an active Overwatch agent in Paris, fighting the Null Sector.
Echo's live server release date has yet to be revealed.