Overwatch 2 is teaming up with the world-renowned One-Punch Man anime to bring a set of collectible cosmetics to the game, available for a limited-time from March 7 – April 6! Overwatch 2 Associate Director Aimee Dennet and Art Director Dion Rogers share their thoughts ahead of the ground-breaking collaboration, which marks a first for Overwatch 2 and paves the way for other exciting potential IP crossovers for the game in the future. The team is excited to reveal the Genos – Genji skin from the collaboration here, for the first time, today on PlayStation Blog.
What led to the idea of specifically bringing One-Punch Man into the world of Overwatch?
[Aimee Dennett, Associate Director, Overwatch 2] We’re obsessed with anime on the Overwatch team! Much like our player base, we have fun thinking about crossovers and similarities shared between characters from our favorite shows. Doomfist and Saitama were a very natural fit in our minds, given their abilities. They’re also both bald. It doesn’t hurt that our game director Aaron Keller is also a big One-Punch Man fan.
Both Genos and Genji have tragic backstories in common, can you discuss whether these shared experiences made for a perfect crossover, as well as any other inspiration that led to the Genos-Genji character?
[Aimee] The similarities between Genos’s and Genji’s backstories were certainly an inspiration. They are both humans who were pushed to the brink of death, only to be rescued and transformed into cyborgs by doctors from their respective universes. We also liked the fact that both Genji and Genos have a strong relationship with their mentors. In fact, there was an idea that Zenyatta would make for an excellent Saitama given this relationship (he’s also bald!) but Doomfist was always the clear choice for us.
Which aspects of Genos’s aesthetic and ability were most important to capture in the world of Overwatch?
[Dion Rogers, Art Director, Overwatch 2] Genos was a perfect fit for Genji. The two characters are essentially cyborgs, and both have very serious and intense attitudes. We wanted to make sure players recognized that our characters are essentially cosplaying the OPM heroes. Genos’s spiky blonde hair was an interesting challenge, the closer we matched the style the more we lost Genji in the process. Our concept artists were careful to combine the two heroes’ main aesthetics without losing either character in the process.
What was the thought behind creating a hybridized Genos-Genji crossover skin, rather than trying to create a fully 1-to-1 Genos skin?
[Aimee] Blizzard games have very detailed lore and universes, and Overwatch is no exception. From a canon perspective, Overwatch takes place on Earth. One-Punch Man is an anime that exists on Earth, so it’s not immersion breaking if you see the existence of One-Punch Man in the game. For our first major collaboration, we wanted to be especially thoughtful and delicate about this piece, and thought the approach of our heroes “cosplaying” characters would fit nicely. There’s also something fun about the idea that canon Genji is a fan of One-Punch Man, sees himself specifically in Genos, and would cosplay as that character. That said, we’re exploring non-canon opportunities in the future, like the Overwatch dating simulator we ran for Valentine’s Day.
Are there any specific details you want to make sure One-Punch Man fans notice about this crossover?
[Aimee] Yes! We are sure fans of One-Punch Man will find some fun Easter Eggs. I’m especially excited to see the reaction to the game lobby during the event.
What were the most rewarding aspects of developing this crossover creatively?
[Aimee] It’s probably unsurprising that there are a lot of geeks that work on Overwatch 2, and we all have our own personal slices of pop culture that we’re passionate about. It was hugely rewarding to see people who have always loved One-Punch Man brainstorm about bringing their favorite anime into the thing they work on every day. It’s also very rewarding to see the reactions of players who also happen to love One-Punch Man! It feels like a conversation we’re having with our players, about how we as a team share the same passions as them.
Can we look forward to more exciting Overwatch 2 x One-Punch Man crossovers in the future?
[Aimee] We’ll see! This collaboration was a lot of fun to work on and we hope our players enjoy it!