Atari makes good on LGBT-inclusive promises with social sim Pridefest

Atari will release an LGBT-themed social sim game for Android and iOS tablets and mobile devices celebrating one of the community's biggest events called Pridefest, the company announced today.

PrideFest is an annual parade and celebration that takes place around the world and in U.S. cities such as New York and San Francisco. Atari's game will allow players to build parade flotillas and decorate their city to keep it "happy and vibrant." As players solve challenges and complete quests, they'll unlock new items for the festival. With the Pridefest's social aspects, players can visit other cities and chat with friends, as well as create unique avatars.

Chief operating officer Todd Shallbetter said Atari will continue to offer "a variety of games that are inclusive for all Atari fans."

"We are excited to be developing Atari's first LGBT-themed game that will give players of all backgrounds the chance to play a fun and unique game that represents a passionate cause," he said.

Last month, Atari told Polygon its new business plan would include a focus on reaching the LGBT community.

"It's something we feel very strongly about here, institutionally," Shallbetter told Polygon. "We like to think of ourselves as a very inclusive brand, as a very inclusive company. ... And we seek opportunities, and this is an opportunity that we think could be beneficial to us as a company — commercially, as well as just, it's the right thing to do."

Pridefest is the first game to come out of that effort.

The company recently sponsored the second GaymerX convention, which took place in San Francisco earlier this month. Speaking about Pridefest, GaymerX founder Matt Conn called Atari's support "a huge step in equality" for gaming.

"It's extremely important that we see these large publishers like Atari stepping up to the plate, and I'm excited that they have the courage to take the first step in supporting the community," Conn said.

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