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Deathmatch Deathmatch
Japan Tokyo, Japan
Traditional town center
Release date

Kanezaka is a Deathmatch map for Overwatch 2. It was released on January 12, 2021, making it the 32nd map added to the game.

Description[ | ]

Savor the sights of Kanezaka, a quiet town nestled in the shadow of Hanamura and the site of the newest team Deathmatch map. During your visit, cuddle up at the Cat Café, check out Mochi’s Pottery Workshop, drop by Tora no Sumika (the local bar), or simply stroll down the streets and enjoy the ambience.[1]

Background[ | ]

Located in Japan, Kanezaka is a quiet area that straddles tradition and modernity. Weathered wooden buildings and a Shinto shrine guarded by solemn stone foxes border the bustle of a high-rise cityscape that trickles into the town proper.[2] Much of its economy is kept afloat by tourism—people will come in by train, partake in the town's good and services, and then leave come nightfall.[3] It regularly celebrates the End of Summer Festival and the Fox Festival.[4][5]

Kanezaka is located on the banks of a river, within range of a port.[4]

History[ | ]

Kanezaka's history goes back hundreds of years, into Japan's feudal period. Centuries ago, the villagers supplied Shimada soldiers with the rice that kept them fighting and grew the famous Shimada peach, a source of pride for the clan. At one point, a rival clan attempted to burn the village under the cover of a fireworks festival, hoping to divide and ambush the Shimada in the Kanezaka orchards. However, the Shimada deployed their full might to render aid to the villagers and made short work of their rivals.[4]

Following the death of Sojiro Shimada and the disappearance of his heirs Hanzo and Genji, the village fell under the control of the ruthless Hashimoto clan, which has used violence and blackmail to extort money from residents for twelve years.[3] People closed their shops early because of them—while tourists were told it was because of tradition, in reality, it was because the town was no longer safe after dark.[4]

In recent times, the Hashimoto's demands have increased, which has led to more vicious abuses as punishment for missed payments. Over the last few months, shipments of Hashimoto contraband went missing. Hashimoto men were badly beaten or robbed when returning from their rounds, and messages painted in bright colors started to appear before they were quickly painted over. But these anti-Hashimoto vigilantes, known as the Yōkai, were just as quick to disappear as they were to attack, and the people of Kanezaka suffered reprisals in their place.[3]

Gameplay[ | ]

This section is a stub section. You can help by adding any available information to this section.

Characters such as Ashe, Pharah, and Cassidy shine on the map due to its vertical elements.[2]

Known locations[ | ]

Most of our favorite places are kept alive thanks to the tourists who delight in visiting quaint old towns such as ours. They eat ice cream from the cat café and burn their yen at the arcade or the new shopping mall you have yet to behold.
~ Asa Yamagami

Known Residents[ | ]

Development[ | ]

Kanezaka began as a FFA experiment by Morten Hedegren, after he was hired by Team 4. They were so impressed that they made it a full-fledged map. Contextual storytelling was worked into the map's design, including Easter eggs and foreshadowing for Overwatch 2.[6] Much of the map was designed via Zoom meetings due to Covid-19. Daily meetings were held where screenshots were shared.

Hedegren took inspiration from the real world when designing the map; this was present in the map from its conception. Specifically, he took inspiration from Kyoto and Tokyo, specifically the districts of Ikebukuro and Shimokitazawa in the case of the latter. Artist Thiago Klafke took inspiration from Ghost in the Shell and Akira when working on the map, and also relied on Google Maps. Fabien Christin worked on the city portion of the map, taking inspiration from Japan, which he visited in 2019. A goal in designing the map was to take it feel true to Japan, while also making it new to Overwatch.

Some of the map's buildings came from the story team, while others were at the discretion of the art team.[2]

The map was made available via the PTR in December 2020, and was fully released in January of the following year.

Trivia[ | ]

  • Kanezaka (鉄坂) means "Iron Hill."
  • A billboard advert on the map features Brit, a cut hero from the original Prometheus project that later became Overwatch.

References[ | ]

  1. 2021-01-13, Kanezaka Challenge. Play Overwatch, accessed on 2021-01-13
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2021-01-19, NEXT STOP: KANEZAKA. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2021-01-27
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 2021-01-11, CORRESPONDENCE POST FOR TOSHIRO YAMAGAMI. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 20201-01-13
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Yōkai
  5. Kiriko
  6. 2020-12-17, Developer Update | Kanezaka | Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2021-01-27