Atari has announced Pridefest for iOS and Android today, which it describes as a "new social-sim game for the LGBT community."
Pridefest will have you building your own pride festival in and around a modern city. Your goal is to make the people in the city happy with your colourful parade and its many activities.
To this end, you'll be able to customise parade flotillas, build attractions, throw decorations around, and employ mascots.
All of the buildings in the city (shops, theatres, and so on) can be filled with festival content to attract more people. You're also able to drop vendors and entertainment stands along the parade route to score more points.
Solving challenges and puzzles unlocks new parade items and bonuses. You can also earn consumable items that are used to spread happiness to the parts of the city that are hard to reach.
Being a social game, you'll create your own character to lead your parade in the game. Atari has stated that avatars will support different body types, clothes, and accessories.
It's also possible to visit the cities that your friends have created. You can even send your parade through them for your friends to see.
Having such a big name company making games for LGBT players may be a point of concern for those it's intended for.
Being pansexual, I was half-expecting Pridefest to be offensive to the community I'm a part of in some way. However, from the few details we have so far, it seems to be quite a safe celebration.
It's reassuring that Atari also sponsored and attended GaymerX in San Francisco last weekend (as did I). It's hopefully indicative of Atari's effort to understand the community rather than simply exploit it for good press or a quick buck.
Atari's CEO Todd Shallbetter says that Pridefest "will give players of all backgrounds the chance to play a fun and unique game that represents a passionate cause."
My only concern is that players of the game are able to connect and chat with each other. I hope that this doesn't lead to the game becoming targeted by people as a means to abuse LGBT people playing the game.
Other than that, there seems to be no good reason to doubt that Pridefest won't be inclusive, at least.
The only opposition to it that I can foresee could be if you're against having a separate "LGBT-themed game". Integrating LGBT people and issues into other games might be preferable to you if so. Both approaches seem to be a move in the right direction, in any case.
"We will continue offering a variety of games that are inclusive for all Atari fans and Pridefest is another example of how we are doing that," Shallbetter added.
Hopefully, Pridefest will arrive on iOS and Android later this year without any controversy. You can follow the game's progress on its website.