Overwatch 2 is celebrating Pride Month with a themed event that brings with it a whole host of cosmetics, but senior game producer Brandy Stiles has stated that the event will be blocked in certain countries.

Blocking content or removing queerness for different countries has a controversial history across games and movies. We saw as much when a lesbian blink-and-you-miss-it kiss at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was removed in the Singaporean release, and when it came to light that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was censoring Pride flags in the Middle East. However, Stiles told Dexerto that Overwatch 2 is doing this to "protect" its players.

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"We have tech in place to limit this content from going out to countries that have laws that aren't tolerant of LGBT content," Stiles said. "This helps us protect those players... You can equip a cosmetic in one country and travel somewhere else with different rules and get in trouble. So we feel like it's our responsibility to help protect people like that and follows the laws in countries that we operate in."

Pharah from Overwatch 2 in front of a lesbian pride flag

As of writing, we don't know which countries Overwatch 2's LGBTQ+ content will be blocked in or what the tech looks like. It might be as simple as queer flags being removed as with MW2, while any clearly queer cosmetics simply don't appear or, in the case of skins, are swapped out for default characters. We'll have to wait for the event itself to find out.

While Stiles claims that the choice to ban Pride content in other countries is to protect players, the move has already drawn backlash. Similar to MW2, some believe that Activision Blizzard cares more about profit than taking a stance and that this is about ensuring the game can still operate in as many countries as possible to make as much money as possible.

Several other tweets share a similar sentiment, but one look at the quote retweets of the Pride Month event announcement itself shows another wave of backlash, expectedly from bigots who are mad that *checks notes* Overwatch has gay characters. You're seven years late, guys

I won't dredge out the homophobic rhetoric they're spilling, but it might be a good idea to get the mute button handy when you're in-game next month. In the meantime, you can look forward to a whole host of flags to celebrate yourself from asexual to genderfluid to rainbow and everything in between.

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