Overwatch 2 is teaming up with the world-famous anime One-Punch Man to bring a collectible cosmetic set to the game, available for a limited time from March 7th to April 6th! Overwatch 2 Assistant Director Amy Dennett and Art Director Dion Rogers share their thoughts ahead of the groundbreaking collaboration, which will be a first for Overwatch 2 and pave the way for other exciting potential IP crossovers for the game in the future. The team is excited to debut the collaboration’s Genos – Genji skin here today on the PlayStation Blog.

What led to the idea to specifically bring One-Punch Man into the world of Overwatch?

(Amy Dennett, Associate Director, Overwatch 2) Here at Team Overwatch, we’re obsessed with anime! Like our player base, we have fun thinking about crossovers and similarities between characters from our favorite shows. Given their abilities, Doomfist and Saitama were a natural fit in our minds. Also, they are both bald. It doesn’t hurt that our game director, Aaron Keller, is also a big fan of One-Punch Man.

Both Genos and Genji share tragic backstories. Can you discuss whether this shared experience made for a perfect crossover, as well as any other inspirations that led to the character of Genos-Genji?

(Amy) The similarities between Genos and Genji’s stories were definitely inspiring. They are both humans who have been pushed to the brink of death, only to be rescued and turned into cyborgs by doctors from their respective universes. We also liked the fact that both Genji and Genos have strong relationships with their mentors. There was actually an idea that Zenyatta would make a great Saitama, given that relationship (he’s also bald!), but Doomfist was always the obvious choice for us.

What aspects of Genos’ aesthetic and abilities were most important to capture in the world of Overwatch?

(Dion Rogers, Art Director, Overwatch 2) Genos was a perfect fit for Genji. Both characters are essentially cyborgs, and both have very serious and intense attitudes. We wanted to make sure players would recognize that our characters are essentially cosplays of OPM characters. Genos’ spiky blonde hair was an interesting challenge, the closer we got to the style, the more we lost Genji in the process. Our concept artists have carefully combined the core aesthetics of the two characters without losing character in the process.

What was the idea behind making a hybrid Genos-Genji crossover skin instead of trying to create a completely Genos 1-to-1 skin?

(Amy) Blizzard games have very detailed stories and universes, and Overwatch is no exception. In terms of canon, Overwatch takes place on Earth. One-Punch Man is an anime that exists on Earth, so if you see One-Punch Man exist in the game, it doesn’t break the immersion. For our first major collaboration, we wanted to be particularly thoughtful and delicate with this piece, and felt that our characters’ approach to character “cosplay” would be a great fit. There’s also something interesting about the idea that canon Genji is a fan of One-Punch Man, sees himself in Genos, and would like to cosplay as that character. That said, we’re exploring non-canon opportunities in the future, like the Overwatch dating sim we launched for Valentine’s Day.

Are there any specific details you want to make sure One-Punch Man fans pay attention to in this crossover?

(Amy) Yes! We’re sure fans of One-Punch Man will find some interesting Easter eggs. I am especially pleased to see the reaction of the gaming lobby during the event.

What aspects of the creative development of this crossover were the most rewarding?

(Amy) It’s probably no surprise that Overwatch 2 has a lot of geeks working on it, and we all have our own personal pieces of pop culture that we’re passionate about. It was great to see people who have always loved One-Punch Man thinking about how to incorporate their favorite anime into what they work on every day. It’s also great to see the reaction of players who also love One-Punch Man! It feels like we’re having a conversation with our players that we as a team share the same passions that they do.

Can we look forward to more exciting Overwatch 2 x One-Punch Man crossovers in the future?

(Amy) We’ll see! This collaboration was a lot of fun to work on and we hope our players enjoy it!