No pun intended in the title here, honest. Blizzard’s latest game Overwatch is a colourful, fun and hectic First Person Shooter (FPS) due for arrival May 25th 2016 and boasts 21 different playable characters each with their own abilities and playstyle. But as the beta continues its pre-release development, and is understandably making a few adjustments (that’s what a beta is all about after all), it has been in the spotlight this last week for a few similarly related issues.
In the latest beta patch you may have already read that there was a masturbation reference within part of a new playable escort mission, Route 66, taken out of the game. Part of this mission has an outhouse that originally had 2 open magazine with pictures of two of the games leading heroines (Symmetra and Mercy) leaving little to imagine what they were there for – keeping in mind the game does have a probable age rating release of PG/13. Ok, so having two open magazines, with 2 ladies on the them, on the floor of an outhouse may not be the the most innocent of inclusions but did it need removing?
On a more recent note there has been a lot of forum discussion related to the way that one of the games main characters is portrayed in some of her poses within the game. Tracer, seen or heard in pretty much every video or advertising of the game so far, has an optional pose looking over her shoulder (left pose in the picture below). After a lengthy message from a mother and fan of the game explaining how the pose sexualises the character, and 11 pages of discussion with other forum goers, Game Director Jeff Kaplan gave the following reply;
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.
With Blizzard having kept a fairly tight ship in terms of making sure their female characters are instant sex-symbols the complaint here may be viewed differently to each personal opinion. But Blizz are taking views of “all” their players seriously and listening carefully to make sure the game doesn’t rub people up the wrong way – again pun NOT intended!
If you haven’t checked out the latest animated short for the game, check it out below.