Nintendo apologizes for Tomodachi Life's lack of same-sex relationship options

Posted on May 12, 2014 - 11:00am by Ryan Conway

If you're an avid reader of Nintendo headlines, chances are you're well familiar with the backlash that sprung up a couple days ago concerning the upcoming Western release of the 3DS life-sim Tomodachi Life.

For the unfamiliar, Nintendo issued a response to the Miiquality campaign, a social media initiative designed to urge "The Big N" to either patch same-sex relationship options into the North American and European releases post-launch or to include them as part of a potential sequel. 

Nintendo of America's initial response, didn't go over too well, citing its desire to not make a "social commentary" as the main reason why they won't be included in the game. LBGT gamers and members of the gaming community at large (including the press), promptly criticized the company's decision; with many emails, tweets, and blogs were sent Nintendo's way, each lending support to the idea of integrating same-sex marriage into the Tomodachi's wacky world.

Today, NoA submitted another response, this one offering a sincere apology to its gay fans, stating while Nintendo is dedicated to promoting a strong sense of community and to making games that are fun and enjoyable for everyone, the Treehouse team just can't patch the desired changes into the game.

However, the Miiquality movement was still successful, as "The Big N" is now promising that if a Tomodachi Life sequel is given the greenlight, it (the western release at least) will be designed to be more inclusive. 

Here's Nintendo's statement in full:

"We apologize 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. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. 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."

This might still serve as a disappointment to those who wanted the options but their voices certainly made a difference and will help shape the future of this series. 

And kudos to Nintendo for the classy response, although had the localizers said this initially, the crisis would have been adverted much more efficiently.  

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