Nintendo has apologised to fans and promised to be “more inclusive” in the future, after gamers publicly criticised the company over its failure to support gay relationships in upcoming 3DS life sim Tomodachi Life.
To recap, Tomodachi Life features customisable Mii characters that can go about their day-to-day business, explore, play games and even get married – as long as their chosen partner is of the opposite gender.
When the game first hit Japan last year, a bug meant that male Miis could get married, and when Nintendo announced a patch, it was hoped that female characters would be given the ability as well… but alas: Nintendo instead chose to patch out these “relationships that become strange“, and it was that version that’s being released for western audiences next month.
This decision caused fan uproar – an online campaign called for in-game marriage equality, but Nintendo stood firm. The company announced last week that the game was never intended to make any form of social commentary.
Predictably, this only made matters worse, and the #Miiquality hashtag exploded with messages of support for gamers who felt the game should allow same-sex relationships. Gamers also took to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr with their comments.
Following this response, Nintendo has released a second statement:
We apologise for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch.
We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.
We’ll not touch on the fact that editing male/male relationships out of the game was completely feasible with a post-ship patch, and instead look to the future of Tomodachi, which will – hopefully – include relationships of all kinds.
Tomodachi Life is coming to Nintendo 3DS in June.