Happy Pride Month! This June many gaming companies are celebrating the LGBT+ community with Pride flags, content and merchandise.
Although there are the usual concerns over rainbow capitalism, it has to be said that gaming companies are going the extra mile to show support, although of course we hope that support extends beyond Pride Month into year-round inclusivity. It’s also worth mentioning that the world of gaming hasn’t aways been very representative or inclusive, and the industry still as a lot of catching up to do.
Below, we’ve collated how some gaming companies are choosing to gay “gay rights!” this Pride Month.
First up is Square Enix, who are offering fans the chance to name their new Pride mascot, designed by Final Fantasy artist Toshiyuki Itahana. The mascot features on their Pride range of merchandise, with all proceeds split between Stonewall and GLAAD.
Sega are focusing on employee-led initiatives this year, including a Twitch fundraiser for LGBT+ charities and conversations around diversity and inclusion. What’s significant is that Sega in Japan is one of the few companies in that country that support and protect LGBT+ staff.
Xbox is launching a whole load of Pride initiatives. It’s a shame that their Pride wireless controller isn’t available to purchase, but there’s still other Pride merchandise to buy, plus trans game Tell Me Why is available for free, and the team are highlighting plenty of LGBT+ games, movies, TV shows and communities.
They’ve also donated over $2 million to LGBT+ organisations in the past year, and are making an additional $150,000 to non-profits around the world this month. Get all the details here.
Twitch may not always be the best at highlighting the diverse communities on the platform, but throughout Pride month LGBT+ streamers will feature on the front page. Plus there are even more community led initiatives in the works.
Speaking of Twitch, LGBT+ developer MidBoss will be holding their third annual Season of Pride in July, with over 65 Twitch streamers collectively raising money for LGBT+ charities throughout the month. There will also be a special Steam sale with up to 80% off LGBT+ fan favourites. All the details will be revealed on the Season of Pride website.
Dead by Daylight is one of the most popular games among the LGBT+ community, particularly drag artists. Thankfully Behaviour Interactive are going all-in this Pride with its #IntoTheRainbow livestream event highlighting queer creators, in addition to other events and Pride emotes.
Elsewhere, both Rocksteady Games and Ninja Theory are engaging with the community sharing LGBT+ stories and content.
Plenty of online multiplayer games are adding Pride emotes, badges and flags to customise your character and compete loudly and proudly.
Other developers are sharing Pride messages, including from the trans developer of Celeste, Gearbox (who recently opposed controversial trans laws in Texas), and even Angry Birds who really said kink at Pride…
Naughty Dog are also celebrating Pride Month with some beautiful The Last Of Us artwork.
Lastly, there are the developers who so far have simply changed their profile pictures to rainbows – a token effort that’s appreciated, though hardly sufficient. That includes the likes of DICE, Respawn and 2K Publishing.
Bethesda have updated to rainbows for their multiple Twitter accounts from around the world, well, at least in countries were homosexuality is legal. The failure to update them in the repressive countries hasn’t gone unnoticed by gamers, and was even made into a meme last year.
Sony and PlayStation are yet to announce their Pride plans. It’s a little disappointing following their previous LGBT+ campaigns, Pride console themes and sponsorship of London Pride. Expect an update from them very soon.
In the meantime, these fictional corporations are in on the act too…
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