Yesterday we posted about two recent changes to Blizzard’s Overwatch due to age-appropriate material and views, HERE. Well, the discussion continues following the decision to remove main character Tracer’s “over-the-shoulder” pose, from Jeff Kaplan (Game Director) earlier in the week.
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.
As a recap, Tracer is a female character with one of her optional poses being under scrutiny to possibly sexualise the character and, though the opinion of each individual may be varied, the decision and reasons behind removing the pose has been elaborated by Kaplan.
Well, that escalated quickly…
While I stand by my previous comment, I realize I should have been more clear. As the game director, I have final creative say over what does or does not go into the game. With this particular decision, it was an easy one to make—not just for me, but for the art team as well. We actually already have an alternate pose that we love and we feel speaks more to the character of Tracer. We weren’t entirely happy with the original pose, it was always one that we wrestled with creatively. That the pose had been called into question from an appropriateness standpoint by players in our community did help influence our decision—getting that kind of feedback is part of the reason we’re holding a closed beta test—but it wasn’t the only factor. We made the decision to go with a different pose in part because we shared some of the same concerns, but also because we wanted to create something better.
We wouldn’t do anything to sacrifice our creative vision for Overwatch, and we’re not going to remove something solely because someone may take issue with it. Our goal isn’t to water down or homogenize the world, or the diverse cast of heroes we’ve built within it. We have poured so much of our heart and souls into this game that it would be a travesty for us to do so.
We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision, and that’s okay. That’s what these kinds of public tests are for. This wasn’t pandering or caving, though. This was the right call from our perspective, and we think the game will be just as fun the next time you play it.
With over 1300 comments, and Kaplan’s original response and statement to remove the post leaving much to be answered, the discussion still burns on. Whether it was the right decision I guess will come down to your own view on what should and shouldn’t be included in games or to what extent a pose can degrade a person. More controversy is probably expected though but let’s hope Blizzard and their fans can move forward.