These video game companies are all screaming ‘gay rights’ this June – and we love to see it
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.
Our #Pride Mascot designed by Toshiyuki Itahana represents diversity and freedom, and we want you to help name them!
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) June 1, 2021
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.
— SEGA (@SEGA) June 1, 2021
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.
We believe everyone in the gaming community should have freedom to be themselves, both when you play and as you live.
— Xbox (@Xbox) June 1, 2021
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.
This Pride Month, we're celebrating all the LGBTQIA+ creators who are out here being who they are and showing up with pride every time they go live.
— Twitch (@Twitch) June 1, 2021
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.
🌈 Get ready for a vibrant Pride Month. Here's what's on this month: pic.twitter.com/AzYYN4siNb
— Dead by Daylight (@DeadByBHVR) June 1, 2021
Elsewhere, both Rocksteady Games and Ninja Theory are engaging with the community sharing LGBT+ stories and content.
At Rocksteady we're proud to support the rights of our LGBTQ+ staff, families, and community members. To share the love for #Pride, we’ve asked a few of our colleagues to share their favourite LGBTQ+ characters over the coming days.
Let us know who your favourites are! pic.twitter.com/FMA62yDylp
— Rocksteady Studios (@RocksteadyGames) June 1, 2021
Happy #Pride to all of our friends, colleagues and fans around the world!
We'd like to use this time to reflect and educate ourselves on LGBTQ+ issues, charities, art and literature. Reply with your favourite LGBTQ+ content and we'll share it within the studio! 🌈 pic.twitter.com/jSQaCZklra
— Ninja Theory (@NinjaTheory) June 2, 2021
Plenty of online multiplayer games are adding Pride emotes, badges and flags to customise your character and compete loudly and proudly.
In celebration of Pride Month, we’ve granted all @playapex players a special Pride badge. Pride is the opposite of shame: It's about being proud of who you are. We stand with and support players of all sexualities and gender identities. #PRIDE pic.twitter.com/NfsgY6dZEi
— Respawn (@Respawn) June 3, 2021
To all our LGBTQIA+ players: we stand with you. You're always invited to fly your flag on the Rift! 🏳️🌈
— League of Legends (@LeagueOfLegends) June 1, 2021
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) June 1, 2021
We're gifting all players the rainbow nameplate to celebrate #Pride!
Let's goooooo 👑 pic.twitter.com/H2HUGMaVoW
— Fall Guys 🤖 Season 4.5 🤖 (@FallGuysGame) June 1, 2021
In honor of Pride Month, our LGBT+ developers are delighted to bring all brawlers a set of 21 free Pride Player Icons. It's a small gesture, but it's our reminder that Knockout City is a place for *everyone*.
Codes in the thread! pic.twitter.com/RILKP880Fe
— Knockout City (@knockoutcity) June 1, 2021
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…
🏳🌈🏳🌈🏳🌈 ✨✨ Happy Pride Month!! ✨✨🌈🌈🌈🌈 pic.twitter.com/tXuc0cj3ZA
— Celeste (@celeste_game) June 1, 2021
— Angry Birds (@AngryBirds) June 28, 2018
— OlliOlli World 🛹 (@OlliOlligame) June 1, 2021
Gearbox believes that if we’re going to entertain the world we must be of the world. Representation is critical and we’re honored to include all walks of life in the experiences we share.#Pride in Gaming pic.twitter.com/06o0LeRDXz
— GearboxOfficial (@GearboxOfficial) June 2, 2021
To all our team members, friends, and fans who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, we stand with you and celebrate alongside you.
— Santa Monica Studio Is Hiring (@SonySantaMonica) June 1, 2021
Naughty Dog are also celebrating Pride Month with some beautiful The Last Of Us artwork.
Whether in the physical world around us or the digital worlds that reflect reality, LGBTQIA+ individuals universally deserve intersectional representation, equal rights, and inclusion. Happy #PRIDE to all. Here's to celebrating who you are and honoring those who paved the way. pic.twitter.com/t4pboXmReH
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) June 1, 2021
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…
its so nice to see the brands caring about us… pic.twitter.com/hwG5ExSvjc
— Lulu🌈🎏 (@luulubuu) June 1, 2021
Happy Pride from another caring corporation pic.twitter.com/nyy2YiOlWk
— chunky legend (@laviejoem) June 1, 2021