Apex Legends is already making waves in the battle royale genre and it’s also proving to be ahead of the game when it comes to LGBTQ representation, too. Both EA and Respawn has confirmed that there are two Apex Legends LGBTQ characters, amounting to a quarter of the current roster. These LGBTQ Legends, to give them their in-game titles, are part of the game’s forward-thinking approach to the representation of minority and marginalized groups.
EA’s official bio page for the Legends specifically notes the sexuality of Gibraltar, one of eight characters you can play as in Respawn’s just-released battle royale. He is revealed to have once gone on a joyride with when he and “his boyfriend stole his father’s motorcycle,” making him an openly gay or bisexual protagonist a launch, a rarity in the medium.
The LGBTQ representation doesn’t stop there. As revealed by Jay Frechette, community manager at Respawn, during an interview with RPS is the fact that there is a second Apex Legends LGBTQ character, with Frechette confirming to reporter Nic Rueben that, “Bloodhound is non-binary, or at least non-specified, in terms of gender.”
In fact, the entirety of the Apex Legends roster is a refreshingly diverse group. Along with the two aforementioned LGBTQ characters are three women, two of whom are black. It is perhaps worth noting that Caustic (a white male) is locked behind over a dozen hours of grinding through gameplay, or available at the cost of $7.99. Considering the majority of games tend to feature white male protagonists, Respawn has certainly opted for a change of pace in this regard.
Of course, others have also made strides in recent months when it comes to revealing LGBTQ characters. Blizzard announced via a comic back in January that Overwatch hero Soldier 76 is gay.
With the lack of brouhaha surrounding these two reveals in particular at launch, this may be indicative of the idea that positive LGBTQ representation (and the lack of vitriolic abuse) can become the new normal in battle royales, gaming, and the world beyond.