In August, Atari announced further plans to make games for the LGBTQ community. Not only did the plan include a partnership with LGBT Media Inc., the team behind LGBT social app LGBTQutie, but it also meant that Atari’s dormant mobile game Pridefest would be getting a significant revamp.
To Atari fans who had been initially excited by Pridefest and of the company’s support for real-life LGBT Pride events, the renewed support was welcome. Though there were questions about how far Atari was willing to go in terms of catering to LGBTQ people as an audience and whether their criticisms of Pridefest had been heard.
So, ahead of the the Pridefest relaunch, I spoke to Atari’s senior marketing director Tony Chien to find out more.
Atari: LGBTQ Gamers Are an Underserved Market in the Industry
J Station X: Is the team aware of the criticism about Pridefest (e.g that the game doesn’t glosses over the history of Pride) and are there plans to address them with the reboot?
Atari’s Tony Chien:
We are aware of the feedback we have received on the game. From the beginning, our mission was to deliver a fun and engaging game for the LGBTQ community that celebrates inclusiveness, equality and diversity. That is still our goal and partnering with LGBT Media Inc. will help guide the game in the right direction.
JSX: Other than social integration, can you share anything else about the Pridefest revamp? And is there an ETA for the updates?
LGBT Media Inc. plans to do more than enhancing the social integration components of the game, although that will be an important part of the re-launch. They also plan to improve the user experience overall, while also incorporating greater LGBTQ cultural sensitivity. There will be some updates effective immediately upon the game re-launch, with even more updates happening over time.
JSX: Why do you think it’s so important to make LGBTQ-focused games?
We believe the LGBTQ community is an underserved market in the game industry and given Atari has embraced different audiences across multiple generations we saw an opportunity to develop a fun, inclusive and engaging game that would appeal to LGBTQ gamers.
JSX: Can we expect Atari and LGBT Media Inc. to make more games together in future, separate from Pridefest?
Our priority is to re-launch Pridefest first and continue supporting the game with updates. Stay tuned for more announcements!
Pridefest is available now on iOS and Android devices. A release date for the revamp has yet to be announced.
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