As a competitive multiplayer shooter, Overwatch’s beta tests are massively important to developer Blizzard Entertainment. Not only does the developer need to make sure that servers are stable and can handle sweltering numbers of players, but balance tweaks for each of the games’ 21 playable heroes (including tanky gorilla Winston and arrow-flinging Hanzo) are not overpowered.
What many didn’t expect, however, is that Blizzard is taking beta feedback about the game’s visuals into account as well. The developer has now chosen to remove Overwatch character Tracer’s victory pose following fan concerns that the pose is ‘too sexualised’. Find out more after the break.
Blizzard Removes Overwatch Victory Pose
The pose in question is called ‘Over The Shoulder’ and, as the picture above shows, it puts much much of the focus on Tracer’s butt. Writing on the game’s official forum, one poster argues that this pose has “nothing to do with being a fast elite killer” and it reduces her to “another bland female sex symbol”. The poster also notes that unlike (fellow Overwatch character) Widowmaker, Tracer is not, in part, “defined by her sexuality”.
Responding to the forum post, Overwatch’s game director Jeff Kaplan agreed, saying that Blizzard will replace the pose and that the company wants everyone to feel “strong and heroic” and that “the last thing we want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable, under-appreciated or misrepresented.” Kaplan apologised, adding that in future, the Overwatch team will “continue to try to do better.”
Unfortunately, the decision to remove the pose has not gone down well with everyone, with some fans of the game having accused Blizzard of ‘bowing to social justice warriors’. However, in another comment Kaplan clarified, explaining that the team wasn’t “entirely happy with the original pose” and had “wrestled” with it creatively.
Moreover, although fan feedback was an influence on Blizzard’s decision, Kaplan says that it wasn’t the only factor and the team isn’t “going to remove something solely because someone may take issue with it.” Kaplan also states that the team has no plans to “”water down” or “homogenize” Overwatch’s diverse cast of heroes, which will be good news for those drawn to the game because of its commitment to representation.
Overwatch will be released on May 24 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. An open beta will also be held at the beginning of May.