While fans are diving into the recently released free-to-play MOBA Pokémon Unite, there is mounting controversy surrounding one of the game’s developers. TiMi Studios, owned by Tencent, had now-deleted tweets uncovered by a forum user that points to the studio making an anti-LGBTQ+ statement on Twitter which has resulted in queer fans petitioning Nintendo to take action.
While not all fans seem angry at the statement, many have pointed out that saying the “rights of heterosexual players are equally important” is similar to abrasive conservative sayings like All Lives Matter and is directly pointing at anti-LGBT actions like the Straight Pride movement.
TiMi eventually released a follow-up statement on Twitter trying to explain the situation. “If you happened to see some inappropriate remarks by me, here’s what happened. I meant to say everyone is equal, coz i know how hard we have to fight to achieve it. But I screwed up in the expression. Sorry. I feel really bad for the mistake. Tks so much for reminding.”
A Pokémon Company representative commented on the subject in a statement made to Kotaku.
“At The Pokémon Company International, we believe in a just and equitable world and that every person, employee, and fan has the unique skills, powers, and purpose to contribute to this common cause. As part of this, we celebrate the humanity of every individual, and fully support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are the foundations of our culture of belonging, and our core value of Integrity and Respect underlines the importance of treating people with respect and empathy to build an open and trusting environment.
These statements do not align with our beliefs, culture, or values and are fundamentally wrong. We’re working with our external partner to address the situation.”
While this statement shows the company’s stance on the matter, no known action has taken place in relation to TiMi Studio’s involvement in the project or to the employee who made the offending tweets.