E3 News 2021 is Gayer Gaming. The video game industry’s seminal annual showcase, is in the books, and it has never been more queer. The splintered participation of major publishers during the first digital-only edition of the conference created a lot of space for memorable and unique games from independent developers to generate buzz compared to previous years.
And the indie game development space has cultivated a wide, diverse field where LGBTQ creators, characters and stories have flourished. To that end, here is a slice of what brightened up E3 2021 with their undeniably queer vibes.
Have you ever wished you could date your sword? Kitfox Games’ “Boyfriend Dungeon” has you covered. Players slash their way through urban dungeons with blades that are actually companions that can be romanced. The better your dates, the more effective they are in combat. And with multiple gender identities and sexualities represented in the game, the queerness levels are off the charts.
Original developer DONTNOD may have handed off the reigns to Deck Nine Studios for the latest installment in the celebrated “Life is Strange” series, but the series’ inclusive attitude will still persist. “Life is Strange: True Colors” will feature same-sex romance options for protagonist Alex Chan as she uses her psychic empathy powers to investigate the mysterious death of her brother.
Speaking of “Life is Strange“, the title that started it all is getting the remaster treatment. The package will include both “Life is Strange” and its prequel, “Life is Strange: Before The Storm“, with updated puzzles, visuals and animations. Both titles remain some of the most heralded titles in LGBTQ circles for its realistic, heartfelt representation of LGBTQ identities and relationships.
After crushing its Kickstarter campaign, developer Soft Not Weak’s abundantly queer, story-driven title “Spirit Swap” places players in a world of magical gay demons charged with saving the city’s music festival from rogue spirits. All while planning a pizza party. It’s extra, but the game mixes in rhythm-based match-3 style mechanics familiar to many mobile games with a custom lofi hip-hop soundtrack that soothes the soul.
You are on Page 1 of 3. On pages 2 and 3: Todrick Hall featured during Ubisoft’s presentation, announcing an exclusive version of “Nails. Hair. Hips. Heels.” Todrick Hall’s ‘Just Dance 2022’; ‘Rainbow Billy’; NonBinary ‘Frogsong’; and more