Overwatch’s Tracer, one of the more popularized characters of Blizzard’s upcoming shooter, will be seeing a pose replacement following fan feedback concerned with out-of-character sexualization. The announcement popped up today in a forum post outlining the complaint.
“So I wanted to start off by saying, I think the development team has done a pretty great job with the cast of female hero’s in Overwatch. They are diverse, interesting, and compelling. From Mei to Zarya to Widowmaker the female cast reflects a large spectrum of personalities and player fantasies,” the fan post begins. “With that being said, lets talk about Tracer. From a marketing standpoint, she’s the star of the show. She’s a great hero. When we look at the way she’s portrayed in promotional media, lore, and art in game we know a few things about her..
She’s a good Friend.
Her body seems to be comprised of about 95% spunk. Almost all of her art reflects this,” the post continues, linking to various skins, poses and animations. “All of this art reinforces the great character you’ve built around tracer. Then out of seemingly no where we have this pose:”
“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,” the author says. As a counterpoint, the author brings up Widowmaker, a character with a personality they feel would justify the pose more than that of Tracer.
“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.”
In response, Game Director Jeff Kaplan commented with the following:
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 characterization has been a unique challenge for Blizzard, who recently said the near-Earth setting has been both new and intimidating for the team, especially when it comes to portraying real nationalizations.
Overwatch releases May 24 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, with early access and open beta dates announced for early May.