Overwatch 2's Pride event is being blocked in some countries

Overwatch 2's Pride event is being blocked in some countries
Images via Blizzard

Written by 

Jack Marsh


1st Jun 2023 17:35

Blizzard's reputation with the LGBTQ+ community and women has been continuously strained over the last few years, with the lawsuit against the company's hierarchy for sexual misconduct being enough to push many players away from the franchise. 

For those that have accepted the changes to the game and have continued to enjoy playing LGBTQ+ heroes such as Lifeweaver (pansexual), Tracer (lesbian), and Solder: 76 (gay) in the sequel, Blizzard has now announced another Overwatch 2 Pride event.

But, just as it's revealed that both Baptiste and Pharah are also LGBTQ+, which will be celebrated with a Pride makeover throughout the entire game, the event is actually an "opt-in" choice and will be actively banned in some countries to "protect players". 

Overwatch 2 bans Pride event in certain countries to "protect players"

Overwatch 2 Pride Block
Click to enlarge

The Overwatch 2 Pride event is set to give a makeover to maps with flags and rainbow crossings coming to the "Pride Parade" Midtown update, while adding a range of customisation features like Player Icons and Name Cards decorated with the rainbow theme.

Yet it's not going to be available for all players, even if you are LGBTQ+. Blizzard's Senior Game Producer Brandy Stiles has revealed that the content will not be available in countries with non-inclusive laws.

"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," Stiles said in an interview with Dexerto.

A full list of countries that will not receive the option to enjoy the Overwatch 2 Pride content has not been revealed.

Overwatch 2 developers say 2023 Pride event is an "opt in" choice

Lifeweaver Overwatch 2
Click to enlarge

Stiles continued to explain that the LGBTQ+ content is optional for those countries that are allowed to have it, as Blizzard aims to "protect" players. 

"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 the countries that we operate in," she said,

The Overwatch 2 Pride event will be launched on June 1, where those that are allowed to can "celebrate the diversity that makes the world worth fighting for".

Jack Marsh
About the author
Jack Marsh
Jack is an Esports Journalist at GGRecon. Graduating from the University of Chester, with a BA Honours degree in Journalism, Jack is an avid esports enthusiast and specialises in Rocket League, Call of Duty, VALORANT, and trending gaming news.
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