Hello, gay nerds. Clearly, if you’re reading this, you’ve taken a break from playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, which came out today all over the world. Well, all over the world except for India.
Publisher Electronic Arts has abruptly decided to withdraw the game from the entire country of India, saying that they’re doing so “in order to avoid a breach of local content laws.”
Dragon Age games have always featured some queer content, but the third installment has more than ever: rather than have the option for bisexual romances, Inquisition features an exclusively-gay party member named Dorian. Is he the reason EA pulled the game? It’s unclear.
“The decision here is in relation to local obscenity laws, but not specific to same gender romance,” an EA rep told Kotaku. We want to believe that’s true, but it’s kind of a weird claim. The company released Grand Theft Auto V in India, which has tons of heterosexual sexuality. They’re also still selling other Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles, all of which have gay relationships. And the Indian distributor, Milestone Interactive, indicated to NDTV that the gay content was to blame.
So what’s going on? It’s hard to say. India’s laws about obscenity, particularly around LGBT content, are pretty murky. EA hasn’t said which laws they’re afraid that Dragon Age would break.
At the end of the day, it means that Indian RPG players are going to miss out on a chance to play a storyline with gay characters, and that’s a shame. If only EA had the courage to stand up to the local magisters.