Metzen relayed the tale during an Overwatch press conference at BlizzCon. He also said that Blizzard is trying to represent a more diverse, less overly sexualized group of characters than they did in the past.
Yeah.. they're sort of there with the diversity, race-wise, but all of the female characters so far look like they have the same super-sexy body with slight variations.
The guys on the other hand have cool weird stuff like a dwarf, a robot monk, a gorilla, and an old guy completely obscured by giant power armor.
They're not terrible, but they could be better.
It seems like not all the classes have been revealed, so hopefully there are some surprises left.
Yeah people are already complaining about Widowmaker. But even if the body types aren't super varied I think Tracer, Pharah and Mercy make a decent balance to Widowmaker and Symmetra in terms of sexy vs practical. People have wibbled on Mercy's boob plate but even then you got two sexy, two practical and one inbetween.
I don't really think the sexiness is really the problem, anyways, I think the group pic on the website really says everything that needs to be said. The five male characters, while all generally being physically fit(Yes, even the Dwarf. Do you see that arm, man?!), they're all still vastly different heights and sizes. The female characters, on the other hand, have a much lower variance, all roughly the same size and height, at least in relation to the males. While there is definitely no mistaking each character's silhouette for one another, how these silhouettes are defined between male and female characters are very different. In male characters, the body itself is exaggerated or stretched to fit, while in female characters, the body has a minimal variance from a base, with accessories and poses doing the heavy lifting. On top of that, male characters have a wider range of sizes, compared to female characters, who are generally all smaller and less exaggerated.
This happens a lot with large ensemble casts, from Transformers Universe to League of Legends to Big Hero 6 to Super Smash Bros, and so on.
Now. what would I do to fix it? Well, first of all I'd eliminate that damned back arch Widowmaker, Mercy, and Symmetra suffer from. That's just awkward looking. (Maybe grant Symmetra less awkward poses overall because I think I'd love her character design if she could just like, stand, you know?) More on topic, I'd make Pharah bigger and taller, literally just scale her design up. Mercy could stand to have more dress and less leg, the legs just kind of outrun the rest of the design, you know? Or just a whole 'nother design pass. I don't really like the design as is so it's hard to suggest mere tweaks.
Ultimately, tweaks are still tweaks, and still leaves a lot of diversity on the table, Pharah is a damn good start, but she should be a baseline, not the most extreme example. There's no reason why the rules of character design apply differently to men and women, because it doesn't really work that way in life. And for men, media(And this game.) recognizes this, But for women, notsomuch. This game, and the world, needs more Strongarms and Strikas, is what I'm saying.
(I'm leaving out Bastion and Winston for the purposes of the discussion. I think there's something to be said how "weird" characters like Winston are almost always male, but I'm not having that argument here. Bastion is actually genderless, so, uh, yeah.)
(Wow okay this turned into quite a post.)