As Overwatch fans everywhere look to celebrate Pride Month in style, Blizzard have come under fire for the lack of rainbow-themed cosmetics. They’ve finally broken the silence.
As Pride Month reaches its conclusion, gamers everywhere are looking to snap up some of this month’s rainbow-themed cosmetics. From Valorant to Apex Legends, games of all genres have been active in showing off their inclusivity.
Overwatch has been one of these. After releasing the Rainbow icon to celebrate the season, fans have been craving more LGBTQI+ content. This lone icon has led to some backlash as Blizzard have shown no signs of releasing further Pride content.
A spokesperson for Blizzard has discussed future colorful cosmetics with Vice, but the reveal is not what fans will have been hoping for.
Blizzard respond to Pride criticism
As fans continue to push Blizzard for more Pride-themed cosmetics for canonically gay heroes Tracer and Soldier 76, a statement has somewhat crushed the community’s dreams.
“The Rainbow player icon was added as a way for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to show their pride in-game,” they state. “We consulted with a representative group of employees and chose Rainbow to reflect the globally recognizable colors that stand as a symbol for the LGBTQIA+ community around the world.”
It seems, however, that the Rainbow icon will be the extent of Blizzard’s Pride 2021 celebrations. “Throughout Overwatch’s history we’ve shown a commitment to diversity, inclusion and LGBTQIA+ support through our characters, lore and hopeful world. While we don’t have plans for additional Pride content for Overwatch at this time, we’ll continue to create new content and tell stories that reflect LGBTQIA+ experiences across Blizzard’s universes.”
Concluding that “we’re proud to celebrate the month alongside the LGBTQIA+ community in-game and out,” this news isn’t quite what some of the title’s community wanted to hear.
Overwatch fans want Pride content
Since the beginning of June, players everywhere have been asking for meaningful Pride content to be added to the game. The Rainbow icon has fallen short of expectations for some players.
One fan writes “it’s the fact that they chose to sneak it into the game for me. No fanfare, no official announcement, not even a “new!” emblem on the icon!”
It’s the fact that they chose to sneak it into the game for me. No fanfare, no official announcement, not even a “new!” emblem on the icon! It’s like Blizzard’s main goal is to not upset homophobes while they acknowledge us on the down low. Smh 🤦🏽
— Ａｎｇｅｌ！(he/they) (@adorpheus) June 23, 2021
Another compares the title to its competitors, noting “Me watching Valorant, Apex Legends and Knockout City get banger Pride items when Overwatch only got a single rainbow icon.”
Me watching VALORANT, Apex Legends and Knockout City get banger Pride items when Overwatch only got a a single rainbow icon when the poster child for the game is a fricking CANON LESBIAN pic.twitter.com/DCpBtgeujV
— Rammy (@RammyOW) June 18, 2021
Another player called out the devs for not adding Pride content due to the focus on Overwatch 2, yet releasing Ashe’s Deadlock Challenge the very same month.
Also since they dont have enough time to make pride content cause "they're working on Overwatch 2" how did they managed to do this then? https://t.co/nrPyH5KnE1
— Eve is playing Adorable Home (@Eventrapta) June 20, 2021
As the Overwatch roster continues to expand with the release of the franchise’s highly anticipated sequel, perhaps we’ll see the addition of more LGBTQI+ characters and, in turn, cosmetics.