Both independent and AAA game developers and LGBTQ gaming organizations are highlighting LGBTQ identities this month with Pride month video game deals, content and events. We’ve corralled the wide collection into a neat little rundown for those looking to make their games a little bit gayer.
Pride Month Games Deals
Itch.io is the best place to discover amazing LGBTQ creators within the game sphere. The storefront also has a history of supporting social justice causes through the sale of large collections of the games available on the platform. The Queer Games Bundle 2021 gathers 236 games, tabletop rpgs and other material from LGBTQ creators into a pay-what-you-want package, though organizers suggest paying $60, the equivalent of a AAA game.
Similarly, a collection of 75 tabletop rpgs from LGBTQ creators is available with all profits going to UK-based LGBTQ youth organization Mermaids and U.S.-based trans advocacy organization Transgender Law Center. The bundle has already surpassed its original goal of $1000 by over $10,000.
Steam, the largest PC video game storefront, has come under fire for its approach to diverse representation on its platform. It recently heavily obfuscated its ‘LGBTQ+‘ tag, making games with the tag much harder to find among the ocean of games for sale. That didn’t stop them from bringing back its annual LGBTQ+ Games Sale. This may be the best way to find games telling LGBTQ stories on the platform.
DONTNOD’s Tell Me Why, the first game from a major studio with a trans protagonist, is available for free during Pride month on Windows 10, Steam and Xbox. The game tells the story of twin siblings Alyson and Tyler, who is trans, as they return home to Alaska following the death of their mother, facing the traumas of their childhood with a fair bit of magical realism mixed into the brew.
Pride Month Gaming Events
Advocacy collective Queer Women of Esports‘ LGBTQIA+ Spotlight Series is a collection of conversations with LGBTQ figures in gaming and esports focused on LGBTQ topics in gaming and esports. Each episode of the series focuses on a community represented by each individual letter in the acronym and can be found on the organization’s Twitch channel.
LGBTQ gaming non-profit GaymerX is using its platform to highlight LGBTQ creators in games throughout the month. Keep an eye on their social media to find awesome LGBTQ game developers and games that focus on LGBTQ stories and characters.
Boston Gaymers is putting its following to charitable use on June 11 with its Pride Streamathon. The 24-hour Twitch stream will raise funds for the Transgender Emergency Fund’s transitional housing initiative.
Evil Genuises LIVEPROUD
Esports organization Evil Geniuses is using its platform to highlight LGBTQ, trans and non-binary identities in esports during Pride month. A special episode of its LIVEPROUD podcast brings together LGBTQ figures in esports for a conversation on LGBTQ esports ad will participate in Queer Women of Esports’ Virtual Block Party on June 26.
Team Liquid, one of the largest names in esports, is bringing the message of Pride month to its Makeathon series with Pridemakers. The June 11-19 event brings together LGBTQ creators and allies to build projects promoting inclusion and enjoy conversations and workshops with notable creators. WNBA champion, Twitch streamer and Team Liquid Brand & Diversity Ambassador Aerial Powers will deliver the opening keynote address.
The Sims 4 Pride Virtual Block Party
After holding an in-game Virtual Block Party last year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down Pride celebrations across the country, The Sims 4 is bringing it back as part of its Summer of Sims content update.
Pride Month Gaming Items
Apex Legends Pride Badge
To no surprise, developer Respawn Entertainment is gifting a a special Pride badge to all Apex Legends player in celebration of Pride month. The badge features the Progress Pride flag design and falls in line with the game’s diverse LGBTQ representation.
Velan Studios is following up the incredibly successful launch of its online multiplayer dodgeball game Knockout City with perhaps the largest and most diverse Pride icon from a AAA published title. Players can download 21 player icons adorned with the wide array of Pride flags for free.
Few horror games enjoy the level of LGBTQ support as Dead by Daylight, and the game is acknowledging the community with LGBTQ-themed content. Players can get a free Pride flag charm to decorate their character as the game’s team works alongside GaymerX to introduced more substantial LGBTQ content to the game in the future. Developer Behaviour will also host the #IntoTheRainbow stream to benefit The Trevor Project on the Dead by Daylight Twitch channel on June 18
Xbox announced a $150,000 donation to LGBTQ organizations and Pride-themed content for Forza Horizon 4, Forza Motorsport 7, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Gears 5, but its Pride 2021 controller has drawn some ire. Instead of putting it up for sale for everyone, the gaming giant is only gifting it to a select number of influencers and media. Quite the inclusive move.
Riot Games is introducing Pride items across its library of games. Valorant players can download Pride-themed player cards for free while League of Legends players can grab Rainbow Poro icons reflecting various Pride flags and customize their profile splash art. There is also a collection of League of Legends missions teasing something between Legends Diana and Leona.
Rocket League Pride Playlist, Rainbow Wheels
Car Soccer juggernaut Rocket League is celebrating Pride with new Rainbow “Love ISLV” wheels for players and a new music playlist highlighting LGBTQ musicians, including Lil Nas X, Big Freedia and Kim Petras. Is there a better way to celebrate scoring a goal than blasting Montero? No.
Previously on Towleroad
Image courtesy of Velan Studios