Blizzard withholds Overwatch comic from Russia due to gay propaganda law

A Christmas Overwatch comic released yesterday is not available in Russia because of the country’s gay propaganda laws.

Blizzard has said before that the game contained gay characters, and the new short graphic novel confirmed that iconic gunner Tracer is among them.

However, Russia’s dated gay propaganda laws – that have seen titles such as FIFA 17 fall foul of the system recently – led Blizzard to withhold the content from the region.

Kotaku reports that a message that pops up when Russian users attempt to access it reads: In accordance with Russian law we cannot share this comic with our players on territory of Russian Federation.”

Sadly the West is not immune from such attitudes, either. The internet lit up following the comic’s release yesterday, with non-liberal thinkers furious at Blizzard’s decision.

As in real life, having variety in our characters and their identities and backgrounds helps create a richer and deeper overall fictional universe,” the company told Kotaku. From the beginning, we’ve wanted the universe of Overwatch to feel welcoming and inclusive, and to reflect the diversity of our players around the world.

As with any aspect of our characters’ backgrounds, their sexuality is just one part of what makes our heroes who they are. From the very beginning of our work on Tracer’s story, it just felt right to make this an aspect of her character.”

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