It is officially the start of June today. That also means the start of pride month. Pride Month is an annual month-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community’s culture & history. It’s also the time when big companies show their support for marginal groups all around the globe. Many big video game companies employ some kind of in-game event or goodies to support the community. However, this time around, Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch 2 will not be taking part in this month-long celebration.
Although Overwatch 2’s team has made enough content, from map re-works to in-game cosmetics & goodies for Pride month, some players won’t get access to it. These are the players residing in countries that do not tolerate the LGBTQIA+ community. Previously, in 2019, Overwatch 1 released a Pride-themed spray for all players, regardless of their region, but they won’t be doing anything of that sort this time around. Moreover, the company has labeled this decision as keeping the player base safe.
Almost every gaming company is on its toes during the month of June. They do everything in their power to show support for the community. However, Blizzard Entertainment‘s Overwatch 2 team has taken a firm stand on not releasing any Pride content in certain countries. Furthermore, all these countries are ones which have laws against the LGBTQIA+ community. This has garnered mixed reactions from the player base all around.
Overwatch 2’s take on not releasing Pride Month content for selected regions
Although Overwatch in the past has released Pride Month-related content in every region, this time around, they won’t be doing so. Senior Game Producer Brandy Stiles, Overwatch 2, will give freedom to its player base whether to express themselves or not in the matters of Pride content. This is because their Pride Content is an “opt-in” feature.
“We have tech in place to limit this content from going out to countries that have laws that aren’t tolerant of LGBT content. This helps us protect those players.”
Overwatch 2 Senior Game Producer Brandy Stiles
Furthermore, this “opt-in” feature won’t be available at all in regions with laws against the community. Overwatch 2’s Lead Director, Aaron Keller, expanded on this further,
“Our values are to protect players. We want to protect players around the world. You can equip a cosmetic in one country and travel to somewhere else with different rules and get in trouble. So we feel like it’s our responsibility to help protect people like that and follow the laws in countries that we operate in.”
Overwatch 2 Lead Director Aaron Keller
This has garnered mixed reactions from the player base:
“We care about diversity but not when it losses us money”
This move has been called out by fans as a classic money-making strategy, as banning the content in certain regions would allow their game to operate there without any hiccups. As of right now, the company has yet to reveal the list of countries where pride content would be banned. However, the rest of the player base is still excited to try their Pride Content as soon as the update hits the stores.
Sneh is an eSports journalist at Firstsportz. He has been playing competitive titles like CS:GO, Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege, and more for 4 years. He's currently pursuing IPM at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Sneh is also keenly interested in RPG titles like Elden Ring, Sekiro, Assassin's Creed series, and similar games. He is a former streamer and was the leading streamer for an Org that held 8th place in the Rocket League Championship South Asia Apac. He is a massive fan of the AniManga culture and loves talking about the recent trends in the community. In his free time, Sneh likes to read Light Novels and Mangas and watch thrillers or philosophical movies.
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