Year in Games 2021

Gaming's weirdest holiday trend peaked in 2021

When did video games start making Santa Claus so buff?

GameMill Entertainment

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Swole Saint Nick emerged as a curious trend in winter 2021 with games like Battlefield 2042 and Splitgate, but video games at large have a puzzling history with buff Santas.

Here’s a look at 8 buff Santas in games.

Epic Games

8. Santa 47

From: Hitman 3

IO Interactive

IO Interactive

This swole Saint Nick is only giving one present away for Christmas: bullets.

7. Father Winter

From: Battlefield 2042

EA

The Legendary “Father Winter” cosmetic leaked in early December, and fans did not like it. DICE put out a statement saying it won’t use the skin this year. Was this Santa a little too strong?

“Today, we have other priorities, and so whilst we have the skins, we presently have no plans to utilize all of them this Holiday.”

- Battlefield Direct Communication

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EA

Watch out! Because when Father Winter does come to Battlefield 2042, he’ll be right at home in any wintry landscape.

6. Santa Saejima

From: Yakuza 5

Sega

Sega

In a Yakuza 5 side story, Saejima dresses up as Santa to draw out “Santa Hunters” who are beating up people wearing Santa outfits.

Sega

After running away from some children eager to get Christmas presents early, you deliver some Christmas justice to delinquents who try to beat Santa up.

5. Splitmas Skin

From: Splitgate

1047 Games

1047 Games

Maybe Santa uses portals similar to the ones in Splitgate to deliver presents to kids around the world in one night?

4. Blackbeard Bliss

From: Rainbow Six Siege

Ubisoft

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a festive gun skin and a buff Santa to wield it in Rainbow Six Siege.

3. Sgt. Winter

From: Fortnite

Epic Games

Epic Games

Since Season 7, Fortnite’s Sgt. Winter (who we assume is the son of Father Winter) has jingled up the competition. Don’t get on his naughty list.

2. Torbjorn

From: Overwatch

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard

One of Overwatch’s most iconic Christmas skins — called Santaclad — transforms Torbjörn into Santa. This Santa may be small, but he can still sleigh you quickly on the battlefield.

1. Santa Braum

From: League of Legends

Riot Games

Riot Games

One of the strongest Champions in Runeterra cosplays as Santa during the holidays in games like League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra. He’ll certainly keep you warm.

Bonus: Sumo Santa

From: the Clayfighter series.

Interplay

Let’s end with something pretty cursed. I had to see this, and now you do as well. Merry Christmas!

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Year In Games 2021 is an Inverse celebration of the most unforgettable adventures, stories, innovations, and characters in interactive entertainment.