After removing a booty-centric pose, Blizzard replaces the fan-favorite Overwatch character’s pose with a brand new one that the company better feels represents the character.
While Blizzard’s upcoming online shooter Overwatch is filled with fantastical elements like hyper-intelligent scientist gorillas and Zen orb-slinging robot monks, the game found itself in hot water over a very real world issue: Accusations of misogyny. The game was a major topic of discussion after fans labeled the butt-centric pose, struck by British time-jumper character Tracer, as sexist – with critics pointing out that the sexualized pose didn’t relate to the character at all.
Calls for the pose’s removal came quick and heavy, with a topic on Battle.net concerning the pose racking up a staggering 46 pages of responses. While the gaming community stood divided on whether the pose should be replaced, Blizzard opted to nip the problem in the bud and remove the pose entirely. Now, the company has implemented a new stance for the fan-favorite character, but discussion has erupted on whether the new pose is any better than the last.
With a colorful cast of characters that includes a cigar-chomping cowboy and a tire-slinging road warrior, it was spunky Tracer that rose to prominence, becoming the unofficial face of the hotly anticipate Overwatch. Every character was assigned a pose to strike on the game’s character selection screen, but Tracer’s pose, with its prominent focus on her derrière, brought complaints. In a post that set off an avalanche of discussion, a Battle.net user known as Fipps explained the pose thusly:
“What about this pose has anything to do with the character you’re building in Tracer? It’s not fun, it’s not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast elite killer. It just reduces Tracer to another bland female sex symbol.”
Blizzard eventually conceded that the pose would get the boot, with Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan admitting that the development team was never quite happy with the pose, explaining the choice to replace it by stating:
“The last thing we want to do is making someone feel uncomfortable, under-appreciate or misrepresented.”
The replacement pose, which went live late last night, swaps out the butt-focus of the original for a playful one-legged stance that Blizzard feels better suits Tracer’s character. Unsatisfied users have been quick to point out that the new pose does still feature Tracer’s caboose facing the camera, but it does not seem that Blizzard intends to change it again.
While debate continues to rage whether removing the pose constituted censorship (with one Game Rant writer arguing that it was not), the community seems to (largely) agree that the new pose works much better for the beloved character. With Tracer set to make the jump to Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, it remains to be seen if the character, and the game she comes from, will be able to escape controversy until the May 24th release of Overwatch.
Overwatch releases for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 24