UPDATE: Blizzard has clarified that it made the decision not to release the Overwatch web comic in Russia.
Unfortunately for Russian fans of Blizzard’s latest first-person shooter Overwatch, the country has restricted all access to the game’s latest web comic. The country claims that the inclusion of the series’ first LGBT character makes the content inappropriate for viewing by its citizens.
For those who haven’t yet read the festive online comic, the holiday content can be found here and reveals that the series mascot Tracer is the first Overwatch hero to openly be a member of the LGBT community. The offense character’s sexuality is apparently being seen as quite the offense to Russian households, with the comic featuring the reveal being banned in accordance with the country’s Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values act.
The law, aimed at restricting gay propaganda from reaching the eyes of children, means that any Russian viewers to the Overwatch site will be greeted with a message that reads:
“In accordance with Russian law we cannot share this comic with our players on territory of Russian Federation”
For those not in Russian territory, the web comic is called “Reflections” and focuses on British hero Tracer, though also touches on what every character of the Overwatch roster is getting up to in this year’s most festive of seasons. Most notably, Widowmaker visits her husband’s grave, Reinhardt keeps Torbjörn and his family company, and Winston hosts a Christmas dinner for Tracer and her newly-revealed girlfriend Emily.
It’s a nice touch to have a comic to read alongside the Overwatch Winder Wonderland event which is currently in full flow, giving players access to a range of brand new Christmas-themed skins, sprays, and victory poses for many of the characters. A new game mode, Mei’s Snowball Offensive, is also currently playable, allowing Overwatch fans all over the world to take on their opponents in a team-based snowball fight.
In other recent Overwatch news, actor Terry Crews Payed a visit to Blizzard’s development team, sparking rumors that the avid PC gamer will be lending his voice to the game’s roster sometime in the near future. Mysterious character Doomfist is yet to be revealed, yet has several in-game references, with a name that sounds perfect for a hero voiced by the high-energy Blizzard fan.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.