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.
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. 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. However, it is suffering under the control of the Hashimoto clan, which has effectively controlled the town for twelve years, taking money from the people. In recent times, the populace approached breaking point, which led to more vicious abuses from the Hashimoto as punishment for missed payments. Over the last few months, shipments of Hashimoto contraband went missing. Their men were badly beaten or robbed when returning from their rounds, and messages painted in bright, conspicuous colors started to appear, before they were quickly painted over. These anti-Hashimoto vigilantes however, were just as quick to disappear as they were to attack the clan, and the people of Kanezaka suffered reprisals in their place.
|“||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|
Kanezaka began as an 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. 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.
The map was made available via the PTR in December 2020, and was fully released in January of the following year.
- 2021-01-13, Kanezaka Challenge. Play Overwatch, accessed on 2021-01-13
- 2021-01-19, NEXT STOP: KANEZAKA. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2021-01-27
- 2021-01-11, CORRESPONDENCE POST FOR TOSHIRO YAMAGAMI. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 20201-01-13
- 2020-12-17, Developer Update | Kanezaka | Overwatch. YouTube, accessed on 2021-01-27