Blizzard received some strong criticism from a concerned father about his young daughter playing Overwatch and one of the poses that's in the game that the characters perform when they achieve victory. They turn around and look over their shoulder; well this pose was deemed too sexy for the character Tracer and that it should be removed.
Eurogamer is reporting that a post over on the Battle.net forums – where beta testers are currently offering feedback – strongly criticizes Blizzard over allowing Tracer to utilize the “Over the Shoulder” pose that many of the characters use in the game when victory is achieved. It's an optional pose that players can equip to their character if they choose to do so, after they unlock it.
The poster on the Battle.net forums felt as if the pose turned Tracer into a sex symbol, and according to the lore, Tracer shouldn't have any poses that could be construed as sexy or sexual. The poster complains that Blizzard added the pose to attract gamers and help boost the player's investment and appeal in the game. They argue that Blizzard should be focusing more on creating strong women as opposed to trying to cater to a certain group of gamers.
Near the end of the post, the user exclaims that his young daughter watches the cinematic trailer all the time and that she's really invested into Overwatch and that he hopes that she can grow up with the character.
The response illicited some very strong feedback from the Battle.net community and the other beta testers dabbling in Overwatch. Most thought the poster was trolling. However, Blizzard did not think that they were trolling and game director Jeff Kaplan agreed that the pose didn't suit Tracer and that they would remove the optional victory pose from Tracer's profile and replace it with something else. You can see the pose they want to replace below.
Kaplan explained in a post – and then further expounded in a follow-up post – that they would change the post and that it wasn't them pandering or caving in to a specific agenda. Kaplan stated...
We made the decision to go with a different pose in part because we shared some of the same concerns, but also because we wanted to create something better.
Some of those in the thread were fine with Kaplan's follow-up post and mentioned that they were okay with removing the optional victory pose for Tracer if it meant getting something better in Overwatch.
Others felt as if Kaplan should have never responded in the thread because all it did was fan those flames. Some female gamers posted in the thread agreeing that despite the pose being available to other characters, it did sexualize Tracer. Other female gamers participating in the Overwatch beta disagreed with Blizzard's decision, stating that censoring a woman's ability to choose how she expresses her sexuality is a step backward for our culture.
The topic has been going on for dozens of pages, as gamers from all over contribute to the thread that managed to get the attention of the entire internet.
It will be interesting to see what Blizzard replaces the “Over The Shoulder” pose for Tracer with, and if it will appeal to those who have a specific idea of how Tracer should be portrayed in Overwatch?
Blizzard is currently undergoing beta tests for the game as they prep for the launch on May 24. Overwatch will be available for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.