Every year, Pride celebrates equality and human rights, along with being yourself in a world that still likes to see people in molds. While the topics and news surrounding the issues of equality and human rights remain distressing even today, there is still some space for celebrating past accomplishments, love, and the work being done worldwide.
Year after year, more and more game companies have started to participate in Pride celebrations. In this blog post, we would like to highlight some examples of how Pride showed on mobile during this year’s Pride month.
Zooba: Zoo Battle Royale Games (Wildlife Studios)
Wildlife Studios kicked the month off by announcing “Faye,” the first transgender character in Zooba: Zoo Battle Royale Games. According to Wildlife Studios, the character programming was mostly led by a non-binary engineer and voice-acted by a transgender actress. Celebrating the character’s launch, 10% of Faye’s purchases were directed to Casa Neon Cunha, a non-profit organization providing shelter and education for the queer population in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Zooba also held an IAP skin offer campaign, where the player could get a newly released “Pride Power Betsy” skin if they purchased skins for both “Duke from Mars” and “Rainbow Wizard Louie.” Throughout the month, the game released small challenges that players could participate in for free rewards.
Celebrate Pride month and complete your Pride Collection! 🌈
Acquire Duke from Mars and Rainbow Wizard Louie to get Pride Power Betsy for free free, plus a bonus Pride Emote! pic.twitter.com/5d91viGQQ2
— Zooba (@ZooBattleArena) June 20, 2022
League of Legends: Wild Rift (Riot Games)
Riot is no stranger to the Pride Month celebrations: the company has openly supported Pride for many years, and the event shows in all of their games. In League of Legends: Wild Rift, players could get their hands on special Pride-themed icons, emotes, and a temporary rainbow trail following the player’s characters. All of these were free of charge, but unlocking some required completing certain simple tasks.
Behind the scenes, Riot Games has partnered with organizations supporting LGBTQIA+ populations, for example, ILGA-Europe. The company has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality in 2022.
Beatstar (Space Ape)
Beatstar themed their monthly Battle Pass around Pride, naming the pass “Freedom.” By purchasing and leveling the pass, players could get two special Pride-themed banners and access to nine season songs, including a track from Years & Years, whose frontman Olly Alexander is a very vocal human rights activist. On their Twitter page, the game also featured the drag queen artist Pabllo Vittar, whose song is also playable in Beatstar. Highlighting and showcasing queer artists is yet another way of taking part while fitting to the Beatstar setting.
Multiple games by Zynga
Zynga celebrated the 2022 Pride with in-game content across several of their games, be it meeting LGBTQ+ characters in Farmville 3 or sending Pride-themed drinks and gifts to other players in Zynga Poker. Zynga has participated in Pride celebrations before as well. Last year, the company distributed an exclusive rainbow-colored car to players in CSR2 Racing to commemorate the event.
Most importantly, Zynga donated a total of $50,000 to several non-profits working with queer issues.
Every year more and more games participate in Pride celebrations in their own way. Cosmetics play a big part in how mobile games approach the event, and it can be a fun way to let players showcase their identity. It is nice to notice that some gaming companies like to give back as well. Companies like Wildlife Studios and Zynga donating to causes related to LGBTQIA+ issues, either from profits made from Pride-related sales or otherwise, is a development we like to see. It is, of course, important to look at what organizations do behind the scenes as well. Inclusive working environment and culture are at the heart of Pride, after all, and companies like Riot approach that angle well.
This post was written to highlight some ways mobile game companies can incorporate Pride in their games, but there are still plenty of other games that have highlighted the event that we didn’t include in this post. More examples of events related to Pride – and others as well! – can be found in the GameRefinery service.
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