Blizzard Entertainment (hereinafter referred to as Blizzard) has announced that the free-to-play team-based action shooting game “Overwatch 2” will hold a collaboration event with the Japanese manga and anime work “One Punch Man”. Released the “Saitama” skin for Doomfist. As the “Overwatch” series, it will be the first attempt to collaborate with manga and anime works like this.
Prior to the official announcement of the collaboration, Blizzard held an online interview for the media. He talked about his goals for the event. The interview was with Overwatch 2 commercial lead John Spector and art director Dion Rogers.
Collaboration with “One Punch Man”, which had many fans among the production team
――Why did “Overwatch 2” come to collaborate with “One Punch Man”?
Mr. Spector:“One Punch Man” is an anime that is popular not only in Japan but all over the world. I thought that the player base of “Overwatch 2” and the fan base of “One Punch Man” overlap in many ways, so we decided to collaborate this time.
Mr. Rogers:Also, this is what I learned after the collaboration was decided, but there were a lot of “One Punch Man” fans in our development team. When the team was thinking about design proposals for collaboration skins, the designers had many ideas, so I think the affinity between the two works is very high.
――How did you feel when you two watched “One Punch Man”?
Mr. Spector:It was fresh and very interesting that the plot was completely different from other battle anime. In normal battle anime, the main character is drawn as a weak existence at first, and it is a highlight that he gradually grows from there, but “One Punch Man” completely ignores that equation, and the main character is too strong. It made me realize how interesting it is. In particular, the reason why Saitama became the strongest is push-ups and running, which is my personal favorite point.
In addition, I think that the greatness of this work is that there are many attractive characters other than Saitama on top of the setting that the main character is too strong. Even though it had a strong initial impact, the story unfolded without getting boring, so I was able to watch it without getting bored.
Mr. Rogers:When I first heard the rumors of “One Punch Man,” I thought, “How can an anime that defeats any enemy with a single blow become interesting?” I thought, but when I actually saw it, I was surprised that the story was so well made. It can be said that it is a common point with “Overwatch” that many unique heroes have appeared and are active in various groups.
――Do the two of you watch anime on a regular basis?
Mr. Rogers:Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the original Dragon Ball. It would be great if “Dragon Ball” and “Overwatch” could collaborate one day. Then Saitama and Goku will fight.
Mr. Spector:It’s difficult to narrow down to one favorite anime, but “NARUTO” is a special existence for me. I’ve been watching it in real time since it first aired in the United States, so it’s a very memorable work. Recently, I’ve been watching “SPY x FAMILY”, and I feel that this is also a very wonderful work.
――Saitama’s skin, which was announced this time, has a design that makes you feel a lot of respect for the original, such as holding a shopping bag in your hand.
Mr. Rogers:Thank you very much for your attention! As I said earlier, there were many designers in our team who originally liked “One-Punch Man”. I became
――Was there anything you paid particular attention to when creating the collaboration skins?
Mr. Rogers:I didn’t want to destroy the world view of “Overwatch”, so rather than importing the “One-Punch Man” character into the game as it is, I would like the “Overwatch” character to be cosplaying as “One-Punch Man”. I’m making an image. On top of that, we held remote meetings with the production studio of the anime “One-Punch Man” and worked out a design that would be a celebration of both works.
What we had to be careful about was maintaining fairness as a competition, even as we made elaborate designs. Players assemble tactics by seeing the silhouettes of enemy characters, so we take care not to change the character’s general physique depending on the skin. I think it’s a skin that respects the design of “One-Punch Man” while being able to be used in a competitive scene.
――Were there any other difficulties in designing the collaboration skins?
Mr. Rogers:The most important thing is to focus on one idea. We got a lot of inspiration from “One Punch Man” and had a lot of design proposals, so it was a very difficult process to decide the best final design for both works.
――What was it like working with a Japanese animation production company?
Mr. Rogers:The animation studio was also very much looking forward to this collaboration, so we were able to build a very good cooperative system. I think it was a collaboration in which both creators had a positive influence on each other.
――Will characters other than Saitama appear as collaboration skins?
Mr. Spector:I can’t talk about the details yet, but we have a lot of collaboration skins besides Saitama. For now, I would like everyone to see the wonderful combination of Doomfist and Saitama.
Mr. Rogers:There are many attractive characters in “One-Punch Man”, so I had no trouble coming up with ideas for collaboration skins other than Saitama.
――Will there be any special game rules for this collaboration?
Mr. Spector:I thought about creating a new rule that would allow you to defeat any enemy with a single blow after “One-Punch Man,” but it wouldn’t work as a game, so it was rejected (laughs). I can’t talk about the details yet, but during the event period, we plan to prepare a challenge where you can get a special Legend skin by clearing it, so please wait for further information.
――Will collaboration skins be purchased in the shop?
Mr. Spector:Of the several skins we have available, one will be available for completing challenges, and others will be available for purchase from the shop.
――When will the collaboration be implemented?
Mr. Spector:It is scheduled to be implemented around March.
――Can we expect collaborations with works other than “One Punch Man” in the future?
Mr. Rogers:We would like to continue such collaboration events in the future. We don’t have a set plan yet, but we would like to think about the next collaboration after receiving feedback on how the players felt about this collaboration event.
――If you have a message for the Japanese community, please
Mr. Spector:We know that many players in Japan are enjoying Overwatch 2, and the Japanese community is very important to us. Just a few months ago, I visited Japan and visited Blizzard’s Japanese branch, and I was overwhelmed by how many players supported “Overwatch 2”.
Mr. Rogers:As you can see from the art style of Overwatch 2, we draw a lot of inspiration from Japanese culture. Many designers grew up playing Japanese games from an early age, and in that sense, Japan and its culture are very important to us. I hope that “Overwatch 2” will continue to be a beloved game in Japan.
©2023 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
© ONE, Yusuke Murata / Shueisha, Hero Association Headquarters
©Bird Studio/Shueisha/Toei Animation
© Masashi Kishimoto Scott/Shueisha/TV Tokyo/Pierrot
©Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha SPY×FAMILY Production Committee