Many thought the androgynous muscled pink-haired character Zarya would be Overwatch’s hinted-at LGBT character, but the truth comes as much more of a surprise to gamers.
In holiday-themed comic “Overwatch: Reflections,” game developer and publisher Blizzard just revealed Tuesday that one of the multiplayer first person shooter’s most-loved characters, Tracer, is a lesbian.
In the comic, Tracer is looking for a gift while pressed for time. On her way, she stops a robber from stealing from a family. After, sees a scarf in the store that she thinks is the perfect present — until she decides to give it to a man that had also been reaching for it.
Later, she receives a gift from the child who she had saved from the robbery, then races off to her destination.
Exhausted, she’s seen in a home lying on a couch. A red-headed woman named Emily grabs two hot drinks and sits beside her. She sees the gift, thinking it’s for her, and opens it herself. It’s the scarf Tracer had wanted to give to her.
Happy, Emily plants — firmly — a kiss on Tracer’s lips.
In the past, Overwatch hinted that there would be one LGBT character in the series. Zarya, an androgynous character, was one of the game's first steps in that direction.
“We’ve been hearing a lot of discussion among players about the need for diversity in video games,” said Artistic Director Bill Petras at the time. “That means a lot of things. They want to see gender diversity, they want to see racial diversity, they want to see diversity along the lines of what country people are from … And we just want you to know that we’re listening and we’re trying hard and we hope Zarya is a step in the right direction.”
Fans have initially had mixed reactions on the revelation.
“OH. MY. GOD,” elated one Facebook user in response. Others were not as happy with the choice.
“Kinda was hoping zarya or mcree (sic) to be LGBT but this works,” said another user.
Some were even downright against the decision to have any LGBT representation at all.
“We could have had a game without any real world bulshit (sic),” said another, likely in reference to the Tracer-Emily kiss.
For more on the comic, click here.