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The Force Is With Us: New Star Wars RPG Adds Gay Option

Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: The Old Republic is the latest MMO (massive multiplayer online) video game to add an option for same-sex relationships, joining Dragon Age 2, Skyrim, Fable III, and other major releases with gay-friendly gameplay.

As Newsarama reports:

These MMOs are games that create immersive virtual environments in which millions of players can interact with computer-generated characters as well as characters created by fellow gamers. While this is [SWTOW game developer] BioWare’s first MMO, the developer is known among fans for the emphasis they place on romantic relationships between characters in their single-player role-playing games. In the past, BioWare games have featured same-sex relationships… and in the case of the immensely popular sci-fi game Mass Effect, relationships between [players and] an asexual alien.

Bioware had initially said Old Republic wouldn’t have a same-sex option, but a strong response from fans led the company to change its mind.

Because the game was so close to its 2011 holiday-season release date, gay and lesbian hookups won’t be immediately available.

“Due to the design constraints of a fully-voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set,” says BioWare online community manager Stephen Reid. “Same-gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature…”

While many have greeted the news happily, in the more than 300 pages of comments on the SWOTR website there’s also been a stead flow of criticism from the expected corners.

“Bioware if this is your stand please allow us offended players to disable all romance content in this title,” posts lastrights. “Give us the option to keep our vision of the Star Wars Universe in tact. If you are going to entertain this type of content allow us not to be subjected to it in any way. Give us the option to completely disable it. Or allow us to permanently kill our companion characters [emphasis ours] so we don’t have to worry about these companions in your future expansions and storylines.”

Big Hollywood blogger John Nolte starts a poorly reasoned rant on the topic with, “Say goodbye to your child’s innocence.”

Um, if you idea of parenting is plopping your child in front of a gaming system and letting them join millions of strangers in beheading Siths and obliterating innocent planets, your kids probably lost their innocence a long time ago.

We’re not hardcore gamers, so we’ll let someone who is break it down:

“One thing that people are conveniently forgetting is that in most [BioWare] games there isn’t even a hint of romance unless you actively pursue it,” posts AJediKnight. “You have to go out of your way to talk to your companions—and frequently—while responding to certain cues in order to even unlock the option.”

The idea that some fruity dude is going to join your crew and just fling himself bodily onto you immediately is a fallacy.”

Actually we would buy the game just so we could do that to the haters. “Help me, Obi-Wan,” indeed.

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Sep 18, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 11 Comments
    • Bee Gaga
      Bee Gaga

      I love Star Wars and i think this is a good option on every game like this where you essentially create your character they 9 times out of 10 have an option of making them gay say kudos to you BioWare

      Sep 18, 2011 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      Cool.

      Sep 18, 2011 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mav
      Mav

      I love Bioware, they consistently put out kickass games. Jade Empire, Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, they all rock the casbah.

      Sep 18, 2011 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      This article is a bit misleading of the actual situation.

      Same-genders romance options were to be included in Star Wars: The Old Republic. It wasn’t until the game actually approached being released was it announced that they would not be included. After literally thousands of players complained, did we get a response from Bioware stating the above, that they’d be added with a later expansion.

      Instead of applauding Bioware for including same-gender romances at all; how about we condemn them for putting us at the bottom of the list and ignoring our request for inclusion until they couldn’t any longer?

      Sep 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Morel
      Morel

      This is great and all, by why would you pursue an NPC romance in an MMO?

      Sep 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gordon Soleil
      Gordon Soleil

      @Morel: The same reason you’d pursue a plotline in an MMO: ’cause it’s there, and BioWare’s writing makes it genuinely enjoyable to go through.

      Now if only we could get them to patch Mass Effect so we can romance Kaiden as Male!Shep…

      Sep 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stark
      Stark

      @Morel: The same reason we pursued NPC romances in KtOR and KtOR2. They have been saying from the beginning that this isn’t going to be like any other MMO, they’ve already affectionately called it a Single Player MMO. It’s going to be story driven like a single player game but you can bring people along in group like an MMO.

      Sep 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mav
      Mav

      “The same reason you’d pursue a plotline in an MMO: ’cause it’s there, and BioWare’s writing makes it genuinely enjoyable to go through.”

      ^ This. I’d end up playing every character multiple times to try each combination and get new story text. Bioware’s scriptwriters are the strongest department of the whole company as far as I’m concerned.

      Sep 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • luckyresnovae
      luckyresnovae

      Whether it was an original inclusion or not, this is still a really great thing! I for one am proud of BioWare. As others stated, their scriptwriters are phenomenal, and it is definitely going to make gameplay all the more interesting.

      Sep 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt D.
      Matt D.

      None of the three games listed in the first paragraph are MMOs. I think the wording there is slightly misleading…

      Sep 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy
      Jimmy

      demonic, sinful, Jesus is love

      Mar 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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