Every game has its audience, and within the Final Fantasy 14 community has always been a strong amount of support for the LBGTQ+ community. So to show their support, the game is sending a little bit of love back the other way, announcing today that they would be officially marching in this year’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.
A float called “Realms United”, a reference to Final Fantasy 14, will be officially backed by Square Enix and the Sydney Gaymers LBGTQ+ commmunity. It’s the first instance of a video game developer directly collaborating to take part in the annual parade, which kicks off 1900 AEDT on March 2. (The Mardi Gras festival began today and runs until March 3.)
“When FFXIV took part in PAX Australia, it was the FFXIV players in Australia who offered us the greatest welcome and utmost support,” Naoki Yoshida, producer and director of FFXIV said in a release. “This led on to our community and Sydney Gaymers working together to make the [Mardi Gras] collaboration a reality.”
“To see it makes me very happy indeed, both as the person in charge of FFXIV and also as just another player of the game. FFXIV is another world that continues to grow and expand online. In that world people become adventurers, known as the Warriors of Light, and can continue to be free. I would like to continue developing this world, hand in hand with communities across the globe.”
Peak Distapan, the organiser for Sydney Gaymers and a regular panellist at the GX Australia conventions, was grateful for the developer’s open support. “For many LGBTQI+ people, online communities provide a space for the journey and exploration of personal identities,” they said. “They allow us to connect, and celebrate, and they reinforce that we are not alone.”
The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras has been running in the city for 41 years now, and the Realms United float will mark the fifth consecutive year that Sydney Gaymers, which has around 2,600 members, has participated in the annual parade. More details about the collaboration will be revealed closer to the event.