The multiplayer FPS Overwatch is due to be released in May and the recent beta has given lots of positive feedback, but one fan has spoken out complaining about a certain character’s victory pose.
They say that the pose “undermines” Blizzard’s commitment to creating strong female characters. The complaint was submitted through Battle.net forums and Blizzard have stated that they will remove the “over-the-shoulder” victory pose used by Tracer. In a recent post, forum member Fipps said it turns the character into “another bland female sex symbol.”
"It's not fun, its[sic] not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast elite killer,” Fipps posted. “I have a young daughter that every day when I wake up wants to watch the 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 complaint wasn’t so much to do with the pose being overly sexualized and more that it doesn’t suit the tone of the character.
“My main complaint is that there is no facet of Tracer's silly/spunky/kind personality in the pose. It's just a generic butt shot. I don't see how that's positive for the game,” Fipps stated. “If you look at D.va's laying around pose, it's got some sexual undertones as well, but it at least still preserves some of her existing characterization.”
Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s game director, stated in a post that he agreed with the argument and they will now make changes to the game. He also mentioned that the team had already considered taking it out.
"That pose had been called into question from an appropriateness standpoint by players in our community did help influence our decision -- getting that kind of feedback is part of the reason we're holding a closed beta test -- but it wasn't the only factor. 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."
The removal of the pose has irritated some fans of the game, though it must be pointed out that quite a few statements supporting the decision have appeared in the thread.
"We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision, and that's okay," said Kaplan. "This wasn't pandering or caving, though. This was the right call from our perspective, and we think the game will be just as fun the next time you play it."