New East Digital Archive

Gay character sees Overwatch comic blocked in Russia

Gay character sees Overwatch comic blocked in Russia
(Overwatch / Blizzard)

3 January 2017

An Overwatch comic, a spin-off of the popular shooter video game of the same name, has been blocked in Russia in accordance with the country’s “gay propaganda” law.

The digital comic is normally available in a range of languages, but the developers behind the project, Blizzard, opted not to publish the Christmas issue in Russia due to its portrayal of a lesbian relationship.

December’s festive-themed episode saw one of the heroes, Tracer, attempt to find a Christmas gift for her flatmate Emily, with the couple later sharing a kiss.

“In accordance with Russian law we cannot share this comic,” reads a message on the Overwatch site when users attempt to access the Russian-language version of the comic.

According to a report by Eurogamer, Blizzard preemptively elected not to publish the comic in Russia, with the country’s law in mind. In 2013, Russian lawmakers banned “propaganda” that promotes “non-traditional sexual relations”, with scrutiny even extending to so-called “gay emojis”.

Source: Eurogamer