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Blizzard responds to explosion of Overwatch porn

Many of us are familiar one of the golden rules of the Internet - if it exists, then there’s porn of it. Commonly known as “Rule 34”, this sacred law has perverted countless of our beloved franchises, from Star Wars to My Little Pony. Unfortunately, video games are no exception. The Legend of Zelda, the Halo series, Star Fox -- these are just some of the big names that have been totally reimagined as cartoon internet porn. And new contender has entered the arena, however -- an intellectual property that exploded on the internet in porn form before the game even came out. Yes, we’re talking about Overwatch.

Blizzard’s new team-based character shooter, and the company’s first new intellectual property in 17 years, has inspired a gigantic wave of Rule 34 porn, both graphic stills and videos. With several subreddits dedicated to the pornographic scenes, and videos hosted on Pornhub, it’s no question that Overwatch porn is immensely popular. In fact, on the release date of the open beta on May 5th, Pornhub reported that searches containing the word “overwatch” had increased by 817 percent.

Most of these videos or images feature Tracer, Widowmaker, or Mei, the three most iconic female characters in the game. Male characters such as McCree and Hanzo are shown sometimes as well, but not nearly as often.

What differentiates the Overwatch Rule 34 popularity from many other franchises is the fact that Blizzard itself has taken direct action in order to contain it, likely for fear of negative attention to the game. Many of the images and videos of Overwatch heroes performing lewd acts on each other are character models ripped directly from the game, using Source Filmmaker (SFM). This means that these SFM videos are not fanart, but actually manipulated versions of Blizzard’s own art. Reddit user “spornm” was one creator of these videos, and uploaded the DMCA takedown notice they received to Reddit.

It’s likely that Blizzard wants to contain this almost exclusively because of the in-game model usage, where fans or young children who could be prospective players may see confusing images and not necessarily be able to differentiate between game images or porn images. Unfortunately for Blizzard, thousands of porn parodies have been created in the past under the protection of fair use, and so it’s kind of a toss-up to see how this might turn out. Pornhub is still well-stocked with Overwatch videos as of right now, so we’ll just have to see how seriously Blizzard takes this issue in the up and coming weeks.

If you'd like to read more about Overwatch (and not about porn), check out the rest of our Overwatch articles and guides. 

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