Blizzard removes Tracer pose from Overwatch, causing community backlash

Blizzard removes Tracer victory pose after a complaint.

Blizzard's Overwatch may be set to be the next big thing, but right now a victory pose for one of its characters is causing some major controversy.  Earlier today, a community member posted about one of the poses that the game's most well known character Tracer can take after winning a match. A parent of a thirteen-year-old, the poster complained about the nature of said pose.

Forum user Fipps said this in the complaint.

"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."

Fipps also had this to say.

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.

Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan later replied in the thread saying that the pose would be removed.

"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."

This action now has players up in arms, as many are upset that Blizzard elected to do this based on the one thread rather than opening it up for community discussion.

Things like this have happened in the past but usually the developer will reach out to the community to get an idea of how the majority feels about whatever is in question. This removal of the pose after a single complaint with little communication with the community has caused a huge uproar that is bringing the masses to bear in the forums.

Photo courtesy Elvine.

A petition has also been started on Reddit in hopes of saving the over the shoulder victory pose.

Blizzard has done a great job at creating strong female characters but this one pose brings into question whether they are trying to boost sales by using sexuality in the character to cater to the male player base. 

Published Aug. 4th 2017
  • Mathenaut
    If they just wanted to remove it, no big deal. That ultimately isn't really the issue.
    It's the extremely low bar set for what passes as sexual and the appearance of pandering to a minority that likely won't even invest much in the game.

    This will cast an awkward light on other creative choices made.
  • Ty Arthur
    Featured Contributor
    I feel like I'm missing something here. It's a person standing up and looking over her shoulder. Where's the thing that's supposed to be sexualized or make me uncomfortable? Is standing up now a sexual pose, and does the person complaining about this not ever walk behind other people? I also couldn't help but notice there's a male character in this game - wearing less clothing to boot - who strikes the same pose, but there doesn't seem to be any backlash about that, which frankly strikes me as a little sexist.
  • Ashley Shankle
    Associate Editor
    I don't know why they keep folding under the pressure from a very loud anti-sex vocal minority when the majority of potential buyers don't find these things offensive at all. A woman having an ass and standing in a sassy pose isn't sexualizing her, it's just her BEING there.

    Once you give the perpetually offended an inch, they take a mile -- whining while they generally don't even intend to buy what they're complaining about. The modern version of American puritanism. /golfclap
  • Scott Simpson
    Featured Contributor
    A pretty ridiculous decision IMO. I'd hardly call it a sexual pose, it's not like she's bent over shoving her ass in peoples faces, it's literally just a shot from the back. The fact they'd be so quick to pander to the complaint of a single person shows they're maybe a little too eager to try and please everyone, which usually ends with pleasing no one.
  • Michael_3897
    @Jeffrey Rousseau
    Work on your reading comprehension, friend. One offended mother is a far cry from "the public."
  • Jeffrey Rousseau
    This is why I always say the public doesn't know what they want. They wanted to have Tracer not pander with removing that pose. They remove the pose and now people(I'm presuming males) are angry?

    It's just silly, companies want to respect the community and their feelings and then the same people lash back?

    You can't please everyone even when it's a good cause.

New Cache - article_comments_article_36461