NINTENDO HAS PROMISED to do all it can to enable same-sex relationships in its virtual life and friendship game Tomodachi Life.
The firm has reacted to the responses that the present version of Tomodachi Life has elicited for its same-sex stance, and said that although it can't do anything about that, it will represent a more open and understanding society in Tomodachi Life 2.
Nintendo had, apparently, been keen to avoid considering how people make relationships and who they are attracted to, and did not want to have to confront any of that in a game that is somehow based on lifestyle.
It's latest statement harked back to that, saying that it is too late to add same-sex relationships to Tomodachi Life, even through patching. However, the firm added that it will look at adding the option into any sequels that it might or might not develop.
"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. 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," it said in its statement.
"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".
Last week Nintendo was giving a firm "no" to gamers that wanted to enter into a same-sex relationship in Tomodachi Life.
Tomodachi Life is about friends, life and relationships, in as much as avatar based fantasy can be. In it punters are expected to lurk around befriending others and generally socialising. This is fine up to a point, and that point is when two avatars of the same sex want to take their relationship further and make it virtually official. When this happens Nintendo adopts a 'not on our watch' stance and does not enable such couplings.
In response to online fallout and a campaign to let virtual true love bloom, Nintendo told the Associated Press that it never thought it would be expected to make comments on society... while making something of a comment on society.
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life. The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary," it said.
"The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localise it for other regions outside of Japan."
Firm and clear though that was, Nintendo went on to say that it was hearing what its users were saying and applying some chin stroking consideration to that.
"We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses. We will continue to listen and think about the feedback. We're using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organisation," it added.
"We have been looking to broaden our approach to development whenever possible as we put all our energy into continuing to develop fun games that will surprise and delight players."
The game will be out in the UK in early June, and Nintendo said that it is ready to "delight" local users. "What happens when all your favourite people become Mii characters and live their lives all together on an island?," it asked.
Now, what won't happen in Tomodachi Life might happen in Tomodachi Life 2. µ
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