Blizzard Entertainment has announced the launch of official Pride celebrations in Overwatch 2 for its LGBTQIA+ characters and its community of players. The company has introduced new decorative player icons and name cards representing diverse sexualities, as well as a newly-decorated Midtown map with LGBTQIA+ flags flying. The celebrations coincide with June, which is marked as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month across the world.
Details of the Celebrations
As part of the celebrations, special cards will also be available for Tracer, Soldier, Lifeweaver, Baptiste, and Pharah, with each card representing their sexual orientation. A new photo of Tracer and Emily will appear in Watchpoint: Gibraltar to coincide with these Pride celebrations. Players will also be able to learn more about the game’s lore and LGBTQIA+ representation in a new short story chapter focussing on Baptiste and Pharah.
Blizzard Entertainment stated that it was the right time to celebrate Pride as the team wanted to begin expanding its PvE lore in new ways and do ‘much more’ in ‘exploring [its] character identities and relationships.’ Although a major piece of PvE content for the game was recently scrapped, the company still wants to deliver story-based content in an alternative form.
These celebrations are a welcome stance on the part of Blizzard Entertainment, particularly given the recent hurdles facing the LGBTQIA+ community. Worldwide, there has been a growing debate around trans and non-binary people, with loud conservative voices – particularly in the United States – calling for fewer human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.
Blizzard Entertainment emphasizes that Pride should be celebrated openly, and it is great to see the Overwatch 2 team openly celebrating LGBTQIA+ identity. ‘Pride’s emphasis on expressing everyone’s true self is beautiful, and we want it to feel like it’s not only a celebration for our players but an event recognized within the Overwatch universe as well,’ Blizzard said of the event. ‘We hope this provides some connection to these celebrations for any players who have always wanted to take part in real-world events but are unable to.’
Blizzard Entertainment has also launched new Pride-themed apparel on the Blizzard Gear Store, which has been curated by the Blizzard LGBT+ Employee Network. Net proceeds from sales are being donated to the US National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
Blizzard Entertainment has made a bold move by introducing Pride celebrations in Overwatch 2, with a renewed spotlight on the game’s LGBTQIA+ characters and its community of players. This move is particularly significant given the recent challenges facing the LGBTQIA+ community. The company has introduced new decorative player icons and name cards representing diverse sexualities, as well as a newly-decorated Midtown map with LGBTQIA+ flags flying. These celebrations are a welcome stance on the part of Blizzard Entertainment, and it is great to see the Overwatch 2 team openly celebrating LGBTQIA+ identity.