Quite a few people, myself included, recently had some harsh words for Nintendo about their upcoming 3DS life sim Tomodachi Life. Not just in response to the game’s failure to include same-sex romance as an option, but also to the company’s horribly tone-deaf initial PR response on the issue, which attempted to excuse the game’s omission of gay and lesbian relationships on the grounds that it would constitute “social commentary.” (As opposed to excluding homosexuality as a concept, which is politically neutral.)
Fortunately, Nintendo has seemingly realized its mistakes. They’ve just issued a new PR statement, which not only repudiates the initial one, but also strongly implies that same-sex relationships will be available to players in any potential sequel:
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.
It’s a shame that the version of the game shipping next month will remain gay-free, and I would appreciate a more explicit promise of inclusion in the potential next installment, but on the whole, this is laudable. Just imagine if this had been their initial response! For now, kudos to Tye Marini and the #Miiquality campaign for making such a turnaround possible.