The Overwatch Winter Wonderland seasonal event is running from December 13th – January 2nd, and it brings a touch of holiday charm to the team-based competitive shooter. The holiday season is a time for happiness, cheer, and spending time with those you love. Overwatch’s cast is no exception to the rule, it seems, as detailed in the heartwarming holiday comic Blizzard Entertainment released earlier today.
Back at Blizzcon 2016, Kotaku took the time to sit down with several key members of the Overwatch team: lead hero designer Geoff Goodman and artist Rachel Day. Kotaku mentioned that many on the internet have been “shipping” different characters together since the game released, and many of these pairings are same-sex. The site sought to gauge Blizzard’s reaction to this fact and see if that influenced the direction the developers took when creating lore and backstory for heroes. Rachel Day stressed that Blizzard strives for inclusiveness, stating:
“We’re looking globally, we’re looking for all different kinds of people, different body types, all of that. Maybe we’re not telling any romantic stories at the moment, but it’s a possibility for the future for sure. I don’t think that we’d want to exclude anybody from that kind of interaction.”
Geoff Goodman followed up on that note, stating that there is an LGBT character included in the game and that more would be revealed soon. Fans went wild with this comment, eagerly discussing who the character might be. Many speculated that the game’s particle cannon-wielding tank Zarya might be a lesbian, due to her appearance that defies stereotypical femininity in favor of a cropped haircut and huge muscles that make me jealous. Fans have to wait no longer, as this comic release confirms that Tracer has a girlfriend named Emily.
The comic recounts a warm and fuzzy tale of Tracer’s escapades as she does her best to get in some last minute Christmas shopping (with liberal use of the chronal accelerator!) The story centers on Tracer and her relationship with Emily, but also features other Overwatch heroes spending time with those who are important to them. This comic is a welcome addition to Overwatch’s holiday event, with the release of festive skins and emotes as well as a special Mei-focused Brawl preceding it.
How do you feel about Tracer’s same-sex relationship? Personally, I’m happy that Tracer has love in her life and that Blizzard surprised us with something other than what many felt was the “obvious” pick in Zarya. Overwatch remains a game which offers a diverse cast for a diverse player base. While critics may say that certain characters come across as tropes, Blizzard seems committed to doing right by their players and catering to people from all different walks of life.