Rich and Brendon both contributed to this report.
So there’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game from Bioware. It’s rather popular.
There are lots of planets, lots of people, lots of quests. It was even designed so that you can get it on with a variety of characters, in a variety of species… but only if they are the opposite gender to you.
Which displeased some gay gamers, it seemed.
BioWare, in response to demand from fans, decided to bring gay relationships to The Old Republic. They’re doing this in a paid-for update called The Rise of the Hutt Cartel, and including it as a new feature alongside things like World PvP and the ability to copy your character to the Public Test Server. However, the clinically acronymed SGR (same-gender romance) won’t add gay companions for new players. Nor will it turn any existing companions bisexual. Instead it will place some gay NPCs on this new planet of Makeb, meaning gay romances in The Old Republic aren’t as developed as straight romances, exist behind a paywall, and are for high-level characters only.
They’ve basically created a gay ghetto planet, making it the only place your character can engage in gay flings, and then not to the quality or extent as in straight relationships. And you’ll pay extra for the privilege.
I’m looking forward to the Makeb-based cosplay at the next Comic Con. And, yes, there will be some.
Fox News have noticed their story, and their sub editor has totally recognised the segregation aspect:
Star Wars game segregates gay characters on gay planet.
So, it’s certainly not perfect yet but the official statement from Bioware promises better integration of same sex romance in future iterations:
First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character. Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of.
Secondly, I want to reveal today that we are adding SGR with some NPCs on Makeb and do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future. More details to come!
A victory for the campaign to get same sex relationships into the game. Is anybody petitioning for the same in the upcoming movies, do you know?