Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) has reportedly made some changes to its upcoming Overwatch title after fans complained that one of the female characters was unnecessarily sexualized.
Overwatch is a shooter video game that the company has been developing. One of the game’s characters called Tracer has a victory pose in which she provocatively protrudes her back side towards the camera. One of the gamers argued during one of the game forums that the pose does not portray her character. Forum attendee Fipps believes that the pose portrays Tracer as just another sex symbol which has nothing to do with building the character.
Fipps argument was responded to with comments that there were no complaints about other characters that have been sexualized such as Widowmaker. Fipps then pointed out that Tracer is one of the characters that should be viewed as a role model and thus it would be unjust to sexualize her. The complaints seem to have worked because the company eventually made the decision to remove the pose.
Jeff Kaplan, the creative director of Overwatch stated that the pose would be removed from the game. He however pointed out that removing the pose was not an easy decision because the studio did not want to have it removed. He also revealed that the pose had been a subject of debate internally before the matter was brought forward by fans. Kaplan stated that the company made the decision to remove the pose because the developer team also shared the same concerns about the pose and not because gamers had called for its removal.
The company recently released a beta version for Overwatch which also features a few other female characters including Widowmaker who is also overly sexualized but Tracer became a source of concern due to her role and character in the game.