In an interview with Kotaku, when discussing gay characters in Overwatch, lead hero designer Geoff Goodman and artist Rachel Day confirm an LGBT character will be revealed shortly.
At BlizzCon 2016, Kotaku took the opportunity to sit down with Overwatch lead hero designer Geoff Goodman and artist Rachel Day to discuss various changes coming to the game. Among hot topics like newly revealed hero Sombra, who players have arguably been waiting on for far too long, and Roadhog’s infamously broken hook, Kotaku breached the subject of LGBT representation in the game. According to Goodman and Day, an LGBT character already exists in the game and their story will be told very soon.
Noting forums where the subject has been discussed at length, and sites such as Tumblr where the fandom for gay characters is expressed through art and fiction, Kotaku asked what Blizzard does with that information. Rachel Day responded by stating that they are continuing to try to build Overwatch as a very diverse game.
We’re looking globally, we’re looking for all different kinds of people, different body types, all of that. Maybe we’re not telling any romantic stories at the moment, but it’s a possibility for the future for sure. I don’t think that we’d want to exclude anybody from that kind of interaction.
Goodman followed this by confirming there is already an LGBT character in the game. However, their reluctance to reveal the character thus far has been rooted in caution.
It’s difficult, because we don’t want to just be weirdly heavy-handed with this. We have comics and a bunch of other media to show this. We don’t want to force something in the game that is just going to feel like it’s in people’s face. We don’t want people to be like, “This just doesn’t make sense.”
There is a character, though, and we’re going to go into that more soon.
Knowing “soon” could mean ages in the gaming industry, so Kotaku pressed them once again by asking them, “Like, very soon?” To which they confirmed, “Yeah, actually soon.”
Overwatch has been a beacon of diversity, sporting an incredibly varied roster of heroes of many different nations, races, genders, religions, and creeds. This list only continues to grow with each new character Blizzard reveals, like with Sombra who became Overwatch‘s first Latina, hailing from Mexico. For many gamers, especially minorities, it’s comforting to see characters they can identify with.
It only makes sense then that LGBT people would like to see a hero that represents them as well and it’s nice that this happening. However, it’s understandable if the LGBT community might feel a tad insulted to hear that a gay character in particular requires special handling, considering Blizzard included a controversial Symmetra skin in the game that apparently did not.
While the existence of an LGBT character has been confirmed to exist in-game for some time, who that character could be has been a widely theorized, but there’s nothing concrete. Zarya is a popular candidate, but it would be a pleasant surprise to find that her stocky build and short haircut does not confirm her sexual orientation. For all we know she could have a massive crush on McCree like all the rest of us.
Overwatch is notorious for keeping a lot of its story outside the game, which includes character backgrounds, instead opting for comics, animated shorts, and various other media to contain the bulk of its lore. It appears this mystery LGBT character will come out in one of these mediums and, thankfully, it will be soon. Our money’s on Bastion.
Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.