Blizzard is to remove a Tracer pose from Overwatch after complaints that it sexualised the character.
In her victory pose, Tracer can be seen with her back to the camera looking back over her shoulder.
On the Overwatch Beta forums, a user called Fipps reported that the Tracer pose reduced Tracer into “another bland female sex symbol” and needed to be removed. They went on to say that the pose “undermines so much of the good [Blizzard has] already done.”
More of Fipps post can be seen below:
WHAT? What about this pose has anything to do with the character you’re building in tracer? It’s not fun, its not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast elite killer. It just reduces tracer to another bland female sex symbol.
We aren’t looking at a widowmaker pose here, this isn’t a character who is in part defined by flaunting her sexuality. This pose says to the player base, oh we’ve got all these cool diverse characters, but at any moment we are willing to reduce them to sex symbols to help boost our investment game.
Getting art into a triple A game isn’t a small task, it has to go through an implementer, a team lead, an art director, and a creative director. This is a team effort. And I believe the team is responsible for upholding the great example overwatch can set to the rest of the industry for creating strong female characters.
I have a young daughter that everyday when I wake up wants to watch the recall trailer again. She knows who tracer is, and as she grows up, she can grow up alongside these characters.
What I’m asking is that as you continue to add to the overwatch cast and investment elements, you double down on your commitment to create strong female characters. You’ve been doing a good job so far, but shipping with a tracer pose like this undermines so much of the good you’ve already done.
The responses that followed included some you might expect with some calling the OP a troll while others said it simply showed Tracer looking back over her shoulder and what might be seen as sexualisation to some is simply looking over a shoulder to others. Others also expressed their disapproval of the claim as an attempt to impose their personal views onto Blizzard’s artistic direction.
Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s Game Director posted
We’ll replace the pose. We want *everyone* to feel strong and heroic in our community. The last thing we want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable, under-appreciated or misrepresented.
Apologies and we’ll continue to try to do better.
Overwatch launches on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the 24th May 2016.