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Joining in on Pride Month celebrations, Square Enix has unveiled its new Pride Mascot, requesting the help of fans to name the colorful character.

By Carol Zhang

Published 2 days ago

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Square Enix's Pride Mascot

As Pride Month celebrations begin, Square Enix has unveiled its new Pride Mascot, designed by Final Fantasy 9?artist Toshiyuki Itahana, and has requested the help of fans to come up with a name. Itahana is known for his character and costume work throughout the Final Fantasy franchise and was the designer behind the android twins Devola and Popola in Square Enix¨s?NieR.

Many developers worldwide have joined in to Pride Month celebrations. Dontnod Entertainment, the studio behind the Life Is Strange series, starting by giving away its?2020 title?Tell Me Why?- a fitting choice, since the game¨s story explores LGBTQ+ issues.?Dead By Daylight?developer Behaviour Interactive and Sega have also announced initiatives to celebrate Pride Month, both planning livestream fundraisers benefiting LGBTQ+ charities.

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Related:?Dead By Daylight Reveals Pride Month Plans Include A Fundraiser

On June 1, Square Enix unveiled its new?Pride Month mascot?on Twitter. The company stated in a press release that the colorful character was created as a special way to show its support for “diversity and freedom” and to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community?as a result of cancelled Pride parades and celebrations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the reveal, Square Enix requested the help of fans to name the new Pride Mascot, asking for suggestions to be posted as replies to the original tweet. A series of limited-edition apparel featuring the mascot is also now available for sale during the month of June on the Square Enix store, with all?profits to be donated to LGBTQ+ organizations Stonewall and GLAAD.

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Our #Pride Mascot designed by Toshiyuki Itahana represents diversity and freedom, and we want you to help name them!

Reply to this tweet with a name idea and it might become part of Square Enix history.https://t.co/Mrs0HolY9g #loveislove pic.twitter.com/atCLgXJQir

! Square Enix (@SquareEnix) June 1, 2021

The birdlike mascot¨s designer, Itahana, was also responsible for the design of the smaller and rounder iteration of the beloved?Final Fantasy?Chocobo featured in the Chocobo’s Dungeon series. On Twitter, Itahana explained?the character was inspired by Strelitzia, the bird of paradise flower. The mascot’s representation of diversity, Itahana added in the press release, is showcased in their colorful design. The representation of freedom is expressed in the character¨s shoes and wings, which Itahana said “allow it to travel anywhere symbolizing freedom.”?He further expressed his thoughts on the design process, stating, “I designed this character hoping that the world can become even more free and diverse in the future.”

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It will be interesting to see what name Square Enix will ultimately choose for its Pride Month mascot, as there’s already an outpouring of thoughtful and inspired name suggestions.?Although LGBTQ+ representation in video games is still a work in progress, it is good to see companies in the industry taking more action and contributing to LGBTQ+ organizations instead of simply changing their social media icons for the month.

Next:?FF7 Remake Part 2 Needs To Make LGBTQ Relationships Canon

Source: Square Enix/Twitter

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About The Author

Carol Zhang

(53 Articles Published)

Carol is a Games Writer based in Melbourne, Australia. An avid gamer most of her life, she has a Bachelors Degree in Games Design. Her favourite games include The Witcher 3, The Mass Effect Trilogy, and Dragon Age. Aside from that, she loves cats, Daft Punk, and soup.

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