Australian gaymers have cheered the news that a float themed after online game Final Fantasy XIV will make its debut in this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras parade.
The float will be the fifth consecutive year that the Sydney Gaymers group, which has around 2,600 members, has participated in the annual parade, which will be held on Saturday, March 2.
Japanese video game company Square Enix has announced that it has collaborated with the Sydney Gaymers to put together the “unique and exciting” Final Fantasy float, titled “Realms United”.
“It means so much to receive direct support, validation, and acknowledgment from such a force in the industry,” Sydney Gaymers organiser Peak Distapan said.
“Not only that, to be supported by a game where so much of our community and values are represented.
“The Final Fantasy XIV Online community does not discriminate and respects everyone’s freedom and their individual values equally.
“For many LGBTQI+ people, online communities provide a space for the journey and exploration of personal identities.
“They allow us to connect, and celebrate, and they reinforce that we are not alone.”
FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida said “the collaboration could never have been realised without the efforts of our community.”
“When FFXIV took part in PAX Australia, it was the FFXIV players in Australia who offered us the greatest welcome and utmost support,” Yoshida said.
“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.”
The 41st Sydney Mardi Gras kicked off its program of community and cultural events last Friday, with the festival culminating in the annual Parade and Party on March 2.
Last Friday, organisers announced Jake Shears, Courtney Act, and Brisbane cabaret troupe Briefs were among the acts added to the lineup of the Mardi Gras Party, joining headliners Kim Petras and PNAU.