Removing Tracer's Pose Was 'An Easy' Decision, Overwatch's Jeff Kaplan Says

The decision to remove Tracer's over-the-shoulder pose from Overwatch has been a hot topic over the last 24 hours, prompting complaints, debates and petitions about the pose and the way Blizzard has handled the situation.

But Overwatch's director, Jeff Kaplan, has no qualms with the choice whatsoever. In fact, according to a clarification late this afternoon, removing the now-contentious pose was actually easy.

Kaplan, who earlier this morning announced that the pose would be removed from the game following a lengthy thread on the Overwatch forums, has further explained the decision.

According to the director, the Overwatch team wasn't overly happy with the original pose. "It was always one that we wrestled with creatively," he explained.

"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."

Kaplan went on to say that he has final creative say over everything that goes into Overwatch, and that the decision to remove the post was "an easy one to make — not just for me, but for the art team as well".

He stressed that removing Tracer's pose was neither caving or pandering to the public outcry. It's also part and parcel of sharing an alpha or beta of a game with the public: elements of a game that some people might like are liable to be changed or removed entirely.

"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."


    Well, so long as they're consistent.

      Those certainly are a number of vaguely similar poses that either combine with their costume to not look like a pinup, or fit their character's better. Well made point, sir. Congratulations.

      Frankly, that bare tattooed arm and back on Hanzo looks pretty sexy from my privileged straight white male perspective.

      I understand why it was removed and respect the creators right to make that decision. My question is: will every other character have an "over the shoulder" pose except Tracer or are they going to give her a less sexualised over the shoulder pose now? If everyone else has one except her, that would be a little odd, but if they designed one more in character then that would make complete sense.

        Dick pic game says "hello world" and was released recently

        Breast pic game is not allowed

        Last edited 29/03/16 6:59 pm

          A point of pedantry, penises and breasts are not equivalent. Penises and vulvas are though as they are both the external reproductive organs for each sex.

            which would seem to imply that the breast game should be more acceptable than the dick game

    I'm really not sure what is wrong with it? Obviously I'm missing something lol

    edit: ok i'm up to speed now lol still... really can't see what is wrong with

    Last edited 29/03/16 5:22 pm

      If I'm playing Overwatch, turn a corner and see Tracer facing away from me, I have to avert my eyes until she turns around. Lest I be branded a sexist.

    This is just beyond fucking sad......

    I had to go drown a fistful of puppies to make myself feel better

      Kudos, I strangled like ten kittens and I still feel down. :/

    Apparently she is presenting and that is not on because Tracer isn't allowed to have or want sex because of her character something something. Because if I can't get sex no one else is allowed to even hint at it. Who's with me!!! *This is where the crickets should have chirped but somehow it gained traction.

    "How dare they (the creator's) take away our butt shot?! It ruins the creator's vision!!!"

    Ohhhhh, right. Gamers.

      From what I can see, it's not what was done but why that bothers people.


      How have you not been hit by a bus as you cover your eyes as you walk down the street?

        It's probably because I've made sure my entire world is such a #safespace. No cis white buses for me.

    i neither agree or disagree with the dicission as that means nothing to me. What does irk me to no end is the bullshit that goes on afterwards because it ends up being damned if you do, damned if you dont. One thread starts ups and something is removed, they caved into pressure. Multiple threads appear and they do nothing, then they are not listening to their audience. Make a change when no ones looking bam self censorship!, make no change then your a Misogynistic ISIS loving pig!

      That's why it should just be optional. Why please one camp when you can please both?

    I find it absurd that this was an issue either way. Include the pose. Don't include the pose. Who cares?

    It's an incredible stretch to claim that MUH PATRIARCHY IS IN THIS TRIGGER BUTT and anyone that idiotic should be ignored.

    It's an incredible stretch to claim that a single victory pose was somehow vital to the game's art and WITHOUT THIS POSE CENSORSHIP HAS STRUCK DOWN ALL ARTISTRY and anyone that idiotic should be ignored.

    I guess I'm just sad that something like this is considered newsworthy in the gaming community.

    I was looking for the vulgar pose and realised it was the first pic.... so this is 2016...

    I think it's always a little disappointing when content gets removed from a game in development, regardless of the reason. I remember being pretty unhappy when they pulled the Path of the Titans system out of the Cataclysm beta.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with the pose either. It's a shame it couldn't stay, especially since it's optional. It's disappointing, but it's not a big deal.

      I felt the same when they removed the magazines last week and the cigar a few months back in heroes of the storm.

      Not angry but just disappointed.


          Doesn't that sword cut both ways, though? This whole thing started because someone was offended by something, it was changed, then other people were offended by the change. Everyone's offended, I guess.

          Last edited 30/03/16 11:24 am

            "Won't someone think of the children!!" trumps all other offence.

    He stressed that removing Tracer’s pose was neither caving or pandering to the public outcry.
    It may be that it indeed wasn't. But that doesn't stop the player-base holding that perception based on what they've just seen.
    I do not care about the specific content that was removed. The pose is such a generic pose and there are much better stances that could replace it that are more unique to Tracer's personality. BUT it's the way this went down that you have one voice basically exclaiming that a character cannot be spunky and sexy at the same time, and Blizzard responds stating they'll change it in that same thread. You say that isn't pandering but it sure looks like it to the average person.

    The lengthier, and better cited, version of this post over on Kotaku US uses the original Tracer model as its article image, not an additional costume like the one you are using. The original costume highlights the "ass shot" idea - and thus controversy - a bit more strongly as she is only wearing tights, not shorts.

    Just figured you may want to fix your article image as it may give people, especially those not in the beta, a better idea of what's going on.

    Also because of, you know, journalism.

      Both articles appeared here, this is a follow up on the original with Kaplan's opinion on the change.

        Ah, so its not bad journalism as much as it is just another grab for clicks. Apples and oranges maybe but it leaves a similar taste in my mouth.

    Will they also be removing objects from the game world which may vaguely resemble genitals so they don't trigger anymore prudish bubble world sjw's???
    circles, rectangles, triangles so damn hot.

    Last edited 29/03/16 8:35 pm

    Lame lame totally lame, gimme a break, what's next, delete TR-8R from force awakens because of his sweet crotch moves??? People need to get a fucking grip.

    This is hypocrisy most foul. Nobody minds that you spend the game running around literally killing people, yet a mere suggestion of sexuality and suddenly it's an uproar. 2 sets of rules. Always.

      Nothing in the orignal complaint or Blizzards statement is saying sexuality in general is bad. The problem is misplaced sexuality. There are still sexualised characters with revealing clothing in flirty poses in this game. They are not changing it for all the characters. The problem was that this pose wasn't consistent with creative brief for the character of Tracer. A female character can exist without being sexualised, just as there are characters in the game that are more sexual in their nature.

        I think more to the point here is... is that pose actually "sexualised" or not?

        Sure her costume is "sexy" as is all body hugging outfits are... but her standing there with her back to you is a very common pose as shown by the first reply in this topic. So a somewhat attractively designed character with her back to you is "sexualised" merely because of the presence of ass lines?

        I'm sorry that's a very thin and subjective like to stretch. Perhaps Blizzard should avoid making "sexy" outfits or female designs that can be misconstrued as too sexualised?

        It's really beginning to enter the realm of Batman's "anti ass line cloaking device - ie. cape" style arguments but on the opposite side of the spectrum in my books. It's all arbitrary nitpicking because of various people's sensitivities.

        Yes it has zilch impact on gameplay and personally as someone who isn't into shooters this doesn't affect me much either. But for god's sake man "sexuality/sexualisation" seems to be this generations "hardcore violence" when it comes to over reactions on both sides of the fence. It's pandering to the lowest common denominator - to the one's easily offended and to the one's who get worked up over the people getting offended

        Since it's seems agreed that several other characters looking over their shoulder aren't sexualised, what element of the pose itself do you think needs to change to make it non-sexualised in your view?

          I personally think the cocked hip, arched back, butt out vibe of the pose is conflicting with what I've seen/read of her character so far. It's quite a forced stance, where as some of the other characters over the shoulder poses are more neutral. This is all subjective, mind you. What matters though is the creator of the game has explained that he feels the retracted pose was at odds with what they wanted to achieve.

            From Neo Kaisers first post...

            This is exactly the same as Mercy's victory pose with the arched back + cocked hip as well. The only difference is her costume which "hides" the same posture that Tracer has. Tracer just has both arms up holding her pistols whereas Mercy has a handy dandy cloak/cape thing behind her.

            In fact if you were to nit pick technically Mercy's would be worse in emphasising her derrier because she's wearing heels. The issue her is basically wardrobe + color scheme having a brighter color + belts gives the optical illusion of emphasising her behind... note how the moment she got a different skin w/ the same pose it doesn't look sexualised at all? Heck just look at Widowmaker's costume. We know it's sexy and just as tight hugging but the darker subdued tones means her back isn't as emphasised.

            It's a very disingenuous argument to use "posture" when its a combination of both wardrobe, color and how your eyes perceive said pose. It's nitpicky to the nth degree... because it's not like the characters original outfit is "sexualised" either.

            And that's the thing... if she was twerking her ass out and her face had the pouty huffy look and she was ruffling her hand on her hair no amount of wardrobe change will change that it's a sexualised pose but for this current pose? It's really all up to how one interprets what they see and their personal sensibilities which decide whether it's "sexualised" or not

              Ugh, my browser ate my reply. It was something along the lines of:

              I see your point. Neither the clothing or the pose are necessarily sexualised, but perhaps together they created an image more sexualised than the developers intended for the character. Then, to keep the image in line with their character traits, they had to change one of the two things. Changing the pose seems like the easier, less drastic and less game-changing of the options.

              You're right in saying that it's down to individual's sensibilities, too - it's entirely subjective.

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