John Francis Morrison, aka Jack, aka Soldier: 76, has been confirmed as the second LGBTQ character in Blizzard's hugely popular online shooter Overwatch.
The reveal came in a new short story - one of several pieces of supporting Overwatch media, that have built out the game's expansive lore since its 2016 release. The story, Bastet, is written by Michael Chu and illustrated by Arnold Tsang, and can be read online here.
In it, the sniper character Ana recovers a wounded Morrison from the streets of Cairo. While recovering, Ana picks through some old photographs, and finds one of Soldier: 76 with a former partner, Vincent. Chu has announced on Twitter that, yep, Jack identifies as gay
One telling paragraph from the story reads as follows:
"Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him, Jack sighed. "We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was to protect people like him... That's the sacrifice I made."
Naturally, this being the internet, some social media users have complained that this is in some way "pandering" on the part of Blizzard, and that games shouldn't force this, that or the other into their content. Sexuality, politics, relatable real-life matters, etc. Which goes to show that said commenters have never wanted for seeing themselves represented in their chosen media, I guess.
Overwatch Bastet Illustration
I'm not about to post any of those grumbles here - you can picture them easy enough. But here's some positive reaction to the reveal, which follows the Overwatch holiday comic of 2016's confirmation that the game's cover star, Tracer, is a lesbian. (There's actually a big clue as to Soldier: 76's sexuality in that same comic, of two years ago, if you can spot it.)
Overwatch also just got a new patch, which buffs Reaper, whose Life Steal rises from 30% damage dealt to 50%, and nerfs Brigitte, whose Rally ability now lasts for 30 seconds. D.Va's Defence Matrix sees its cool-down go from one to two seconds, too. But be fair. You didn't come here looking for that information.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard