Same-Sex Romance Coming to The Old Republic

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Same-Sex Romance Coming to The Old Republic

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Bioware says that same-sex relationships will be coming to Star Wars: The Old Republic after all, as a "post-launch feature."

It got ugly in a hurry way back in April '09, when a Bioware forum moderator put the kibosh on a discussion about same-sex relationships in Star Wars: The Old Republic by saying that terms like "homosexual," "gay" and "lesbian" - and I quote - "do not exist in Star Wars." The statement was silly enough in itself and especially hard to swallow coming from a representative of a company known for incorporating same-sex romance options in games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, but that appeared to be the final, bottom-line decision - until a couple of days ago, when BioWare did an about-face on the matter with an "official statement on same gender romance arcs in Star Wars: The Old Republic" posted on The Old Republic forums.

"Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options."

"Post-launch" is admittedly not the most precise time frame but it's a lot better than a flat "not gonna happen." More to the point, the simple acknowledgment that homosexuality does in fact exist in the Star Wars universe is a much-needed admission from Bioware that its initial handling of the issue was way off-base. I don't see videogame romances as something worth getting terribly worked up about, but denying the very existence of homosexuality is a real slap in the face for an awful lot of people.

Reaction to the decision has come fast and furious, as you might expect. The original thread announcing the change of heart rocketed to 326 pages in less than 48 hours, after which it was closed for exceed thread length thresholds; a new thread, currently at 39 pages and growing, has taken its place.

via: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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I thought the words made by bioware implied that their would be romances involved and same sex ones if you wanted. I am surprised its not coming with the core game though.

Same-sex romance post-launch sounds like an odd concept. I wonder why BioWare has it slated for after release. Maybe it'll be - like - an expansion pack, complete with half-naked Twi'lek companions and Hutt-like harems to compose hedonistic, inter-terristrial orgies with your team... for Yoda-knows-why.

All kidding aside, this game is fantastic! BioWare is really going to leave their signature story-driven narrative marks on the MMO genre, no doubt about it.

Studs MacKenzie:
Same-sex romance post-launch sounds like an odd concept. I wonder why BioWare has it slated for after release. Maybe it'll be - like - an expansion pack, complete with half-naked Twi'lek companions and Hutt-like harems to compose hedonistic, inter-terristrial orgies with your team... for Yoda-knows-why.

All kidding aside, this game is fantastic! BioWare is really going to leave their signature story-driven narrative marks on the MMO genre, no doubt about it.

Story wise it will be awesome, i really wish the gameplay was a bit better though.

Andy Chalk:
I don't see videogame romances as something worth getting terribly worked up about, but denying the very existence of homosexuality is a real slap in the face for an awful lot of people.

Especially C3PO fans.

Then you got R2 who was bi: he just stuck his sensor into any ship/space station/colony mainframe he could find. It's how he got cyber-herpes.

Jedi lesbians. The world is now a sexier place.

I dont really get how you work a romance plot into a mmo like this let alone have actual sexuality in starwars

Metal Brother:
Jedi lesbians. The world is now a sexier place.

Excuse me, thats jesbians.

This seems like much ado about nothing. Why is there romance in this game anyway? Isn't it an MMO? There will be plenty of midnight samesex cyber romps, as in any other MMO. Does this have something to do with profile settings? I DON'T GET IT.

And now a reason for slash fans to play.

And by slash fans I mean me.

And by fan I mean pervert.

I might be thinking a bit far ahead, but I think I can see a time where "Bioware game has same-sex romances!" isn't news anymore :P

In other news: I don't really see how romances would work in an MMO, I suppose it'd be similar to how a Mass Effect game would work if there was an extensive online co-op mode. Minus the differences in game-play of course.

It's a fucking mmo. You interact with real people, make some real goddamn connections.

this is fanservice at it's worst.

HerbertTheHamster:
It's a fucking mmo. You interact with real people, make some real goddamn connections.

this is fanservice at it's worst.

Aye ! Seriously Bioware WTF ! First the Origin debarkle now this? looks like they want this mmo to fail.

Metal Brother:
Jedi lesbians. The world is now a sexier place.

Why else would some lightsaber bases look so phallic?

OT: Options are always nice. Though, if I get this, I'll be playing an Imperial Agent, perhaps the word romance doesn't quite fit.

As long as there's no Human on Wookie/Ewok relations, I'm not going to protest.

I don't understand what the benefit to having romance options in a MMO is? Your just going to have a thousand people all running around with the same person ruins immersion a bit I would imagine.

To those who are confused, it's a story-based MMO, as in, all the basic plot/leveling missions follow a cohesive storyline that is basically any other Bioware game, with the same conversation and plot choices, i.e. allowing you to kill puppies or get into relationships.

A bit strange to have romances in an MMO, but I'm sure Bioware can make it work. I guess this means there will be more conversations with NPCs besides "I need 10 Jedi skulls please. You get 500 exp and 2000 credits."

Chappy:
I don't understand what the benefit to having romance options in a MMO is? Your just going to have a thousand people all running around with the same person ruins immersion a bit I would imagine.

No more than seeing your friend playing a game with the same romance option that you chose. Since you're character's story is dependant on your characters class and specializations I'm guessing that the romance options will be as well. So while its possible it's going to be slightly more unlikely.

When I played wow I think I can count the number of times I met another ruin build undead warlock on one hand and I played for years. I'm guessing that meeting another person with my class, my build options, my party, and my romance option is going to be even more unlikely than my 4 random encounters with warlocks that were somewhat like me.

Why is every game developer being proud as they announce this? I'm not homophobic but it's really annoying to see yet another article titled "X ANNOUNCE GAY RELATIONSHIPS IN Y". Okay! Fine! Good for them! You have gay relationships! Cool! Your game rocks! And why are you rubbing this info in my face like it's something holy?

Besides, this is a MMO. What are relationships even doing in a game like this?

Sadly, the allure of lesbian relationships is not enough to get me to buy this game.

Studs MacKenzie:
Same-sex romance post-launch sounds like an odd concept. I wonder why BioWare has it slated for after release. Maybe it'll be - like - an expansion pack, complete with half-naked Twi'lek companions and Hutt-like harems to compose hedonistic, inter-terristrial orgies with your team... for Yoda-knows-why.

All kidding aside, this game is fantastic! BioWare is really going to leave their signature story-driven narrative marks on the MMO genre, no doubt about it.

Saviordd1:

Story wise it will be awesome, i really wish the gameplay was a bit better though.

I don't get why people say that. I mean, Bioware are okay writers, in the same way that Tom Clancy and John Grisham are okay writers. In other words, they've been telling the same story again and again for over a decade.

I bet you anything this is how the story goes:

You're a person with a vague, unimportant past who is thrust into a sudden military conflict. There are three basic styles of gameplay: direct combat, stealth/thievery/hacking or magic/psychic power (in this case, The Force) which you must choose between. Then, you're inducted into some elite order of ultimate badass heroes and given the task of saving the world. You meet a bunch of characters on your way who join up with you, each one having a distinctive personality trait (one, and only one).
These companions dutifully follow your every whim (standing around while you loot treasure chests or waiting at a designated spot for you to come talk to them), and have a very structured way of interacting with the world once they're on your team. There are a select few of these companions (usually three) who, if you converse with them a certain number of times, they'll give you a quest which, upon completion, allows you to shag them. You're then in a "relationship", but it's never really mentioned or alluded to again (except for a few minor changes in dialogue).
Inevitably, towards the middle of the story (around the beginning of the third act), your mentor figure betrays you. Then it ends with you raiding a big evil fortress, killing a bunch of dudes and then wiping out the antagonist in a rather static, lackluster showdown.

After about 7 games which pretty much follow that description to the letter, just having the name "Bioware" attached to a game is a massive spoiler.

It's like the people who keep buying Tom Clancy novels. They're all the same, how can you keep getting your hopes up for each one?

Personally, I'll be interested in seeing how Bioware implements it. I don't have time for another MMO addiction, but it's a new aspect to an established genre and I think if anyone can pull it off without it seeming tacked-on or gratuitous, it's them.

I would have thought the initial response might have been on the basis of them using someone else's IP. Regardless, it's heartening to see that constructing a fictional setting "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away" doesn't necessarily mean "apply the social conventions of 1950s Western societies".

Chappy:
I don't understand what the benefit to having romance options in a MMO is? Your just going to have a thousand people all running around with the same person ruins immersion a bit I would imagine.

It's like dating a prostitute. Its just not the same when everybody else gets just as much as you.

Wow. Way to shoehorn this shit into all your games Bioware. Not like it aint getting real old real fast. -.-;

Seriously, go back to actually trying to make your games good instead of just being that company who forces same sex issues into every fucking product.

GameMaNiAC:

Besides, this is a MMO. What are relationships even doing in a game like this?

Cheshire the Cat:
Wow. Way to shoehorn this shit into all your games Bioware.

The below quote is basically what I would've replied to Gamemaniac's post. It's BioWare. It's become their thing as of late to have romances in games. That's why I' m not looking at TOR as a conventional MMO; I'm looking at it as a BioWare game. And that's all I've really wanted.

But wait. How can they deny same-sex relationships in Star Wars when they introduced the first canon homosexual character into Star Wars (I know this isn't entirely relevant, but it still confuses me)?
Did I miss Lucas announcing that Juhanni isn't canon? Doesn't anyone give a shit about her?
Why the hell am I the only one who ever mentions her?

But writing and story is not only or even mainly the overarching themes. I can turn to any number of book, movie, game, etc. that uses a story arch that is very similar or spot on exactly the same. The point is that a lot of people consider their writing (in the sense of character and specifics) is well done.
As it's been said, there is no original stories anymore. They've been told thousands upon thousands of time, the real originality and quality comes from where the specifics go. That is what modern writing relies on.
If you don't think that BioWare can write, that's fine, but I disagree. Me, though, I can't just look at their biggest flaw (sticking way too close to a formula) as voiding the rest of what they can do and have done with writing in video games.

lovest harding:

Did I miss Lucas announcing that Juhanni isn't canon? Doesn't anyone give a shit about her?
Why the hell am I the only one who ever mentions her?

I don't think anyone cares about her.

Why does BioWare insist on shoving relationships into all of their games? Fucking pointless little mechanic that does almost nothing to the main story. And why does anyone actually give a shit when it is same-sex? Who the fuck actually cares? I don't think you are going to find anyone that plays BioWare games based on the relationship mechanics, or that you can be gay in a game. Pointless.

YEEEEEEEAH! Bioware are revolutionizing the genre, pushing the envelope!
Ah Bioware, you were once good. You abandoned the RPG genre to work on dating-sims. How pathetic :-(

I'm beginning to suspect that this is Bioware's main selling point...

Imbechile:
YEEEEEEEAH! Bioware are revolutionizing the genre, pushing the envelope!
Ah Bioware, you were once good. You abandoned the RPG genre to work on dating-sims. How pathetic :-(

Since when?
I'll admit that they have included love interests in most if not all of their games lately, but calling them Dating Sims is farfetched at best. If you want to blame anyone for the focus on love interests, blame some of the community, who draw way to much attention to that kind of thing. Yes their announcing it, but that's probably more to do with drawing in some of the fanbase.

the screen cap used is so awesome in the context of this article

Hallowed Lady:

Imbechile:
YEEEEEEEAH! Bioware are revolutionizing the genre, pushing the envelope!
Ah Bioware, you were once good. You abandoned the RPG genre to work on dating-sims. How pathetic :-(

Since when?
I'll admit that they have included love interests in most if not all of their games lately, but calling them Dating Sims is farfetched at best. If you want to blame anyone for the focus on love interests, blame some of the community, who draw way to much attention to that kind of thing. Yes their announcing it, but that's probably more to do with drawing in some of the fanbase.

Yes, blame the community! They are the ones who decide what gets implemented in the game.

Oh wait, .....

Cue Faux Noise starting outrage!

Thank you, BioWare, for making sure that everyone gets a choice. It's appreciated.

Imbechile:

Hallowed Lady:

Imbechile:
YEEEEEEEAH! Bioware are revolutionizing the genre, pushing the envelope!
Ah Bioware, you were once good. You abandoned the RPG genre to work on dating-sims. How pathetic :-(

Since when?
I'll admit that they have included love interests in most if not all of their games lately, but calling them Dating Sims is farfetched at best. If you want to blame anyone for the focus on love interests, blame some of the community, who draw way to much attention to that kind of thing. Yes their announcing it, but that's probably more to do with drawing in some of the fanbase.

Yes, blame the community! They are the ones who decide what gets implemented in the game.

Oh wait, .....

Not what I said.

The romance thing never plays that big a part in the games, but the community tends to draw more attention to it. The LI thing can be completely avoided in every game very easily, but the community spends so much time talking about on the Bioware forums. Of course Bioware will draw attention to it, since the fans do want Love Interests.

Also in this case, it's probably more of them trying to go back on the pervious statement about the Star Wars universe.

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