NIntendo Apologizes For Exclusion Of Gays From Tomodachi Life

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NIntendo Apologizes For Exclusion Of Gays From Tomodachi Life

Tomodachi Life

The company issued a statement today that seeks to correct for its tone-deafness earlier this week.

After a brutal period of intense criticism that began earlier this week when Nintendo issued a tone-deaf justification for its decision not to include same sex relationships in Tomodachi Life, the company's American branch today issued an unambiguous apology. While Nintendo reiterates that adding the option into the life simulation game isn't possible even via a patch, it promises that future versions of Tomodachi Life will be built "from the ground up" to be a more fully inclusive game that "better represents all players".

The full statement follows below:

Nintendo is Committed to Fun and Entertainment for Everyone

Redmond, Wash. -- 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.

-- Nintendo of America

This statement is of course a far cry from earlier this week, when the company responded to a fan-driven effort to convince it to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life by dismissing such relationships as "social commentary." That response caused an epic outpouring of criticism from many sectors of gaming journalism and fandom, not to mention some rather heated arguments online.

The controversy was also a serious, and unneeded headache for Nintendo, coming just one day after the company confirmed a staggering half-billion dollar loss for the fiscal year 2013. With revenues plummeting and the Wii U all but confirmed as a flop, Nintendo is in dire straits, and will depend desperately on the famous loyalty of its fans if it intends to pull itself out of its current woes.

Whether or not this ends up being a defining moment for the company remains to be seen. It can be argued convincingly that had Nintendo taken this position on Wednesday, the matter would never have escalated. As things stand now, however, the move is a welcome course correction, and a hopeful sign that the company has learned from its mistake.

Related: Nintendo's Omission of Same-Sex Relationships is Erasure

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Damn, that was quick. Let this be a sign that maybe companies are starting to take the earplugs out.

Well, assuming that Nintendo stick to what they've said (which I have no reason to suspect otherwise), then it's a win for all involved.

Bravo, Nintendo, and to the Miiquality campaign as well.

Good on Nintendo. Hopefully, they will actually follow through with this, and these aren't just empty words to pacify the sheep-I mean, consumers.

I just made a thread after looking and not finding any articles on it, dammit.

OT: I hope this shows people it was just a mistake, I don't think they intended to cause anyone problems, and they didn't expect the controversy it caused so I thin they had trouble coming up with a response when they first did.

So it sounds like they will include that stuff in a sequel if they make another, they say they can't patch it so we just have to take their word on it. But there seem to be a lot of would be devs in the forums that think otherwise.

chozo_hybrid:
I just made a thread after looking and not finding any articles on it, dammit.

OT: I hope this shows people it was just a mistake, I don't think they intended to cause anyone problems, and they didn't expect the controversy it caused so I thin they had trouble coming up with a response when they first did.

So it sounds like they will include that stuff in a sequel if they make another, they say they can't patch it so we just have to take their word on it. But there seem to be a lot of would be devs in the forums that think otherwise.

For convenience, link to the forum thread? (I'm looking for it now.) Never mind, found it!

Actions speak louder than words. Game publishers are worse than politicians sometimes.

I think Nintendo just didn't want to make a stance on the whole gay thing. There's risk for a large company in saying that they're anti or pro same sex relationships.

It's good that they're showing a very liberal view though.

What I found really annoying in the thread for the last article about this were the people screaming that Nintendo and all people who don't bother with promoting a pro-homosexual attitude are all scum. Intolerance works both ways, and so long as people aren't harming people in their views of homosexuality, it's okay to be anti-gay.

I give it maybe a month before someone patches it in somehow, despite how "impossible" Nintento says that would be.

RossaLincoln:

chozo_hybrid:
I just made a thread after looking and not finding any articles on it, dammit.

OT: I hope this shows people it was just a mistake, I don't think they intended to cause anyone problems, and they didn't expect the controversy it caused so I thin they had trouble coming up with a response when they first did.

So it sounds like they will include that stuff in a sequel if they make another, they say they can't patch it so we just have to take their word on it. But there seem to be a lot of would be devs in the forums that think otherwise.

For convenience, link to the forum thread? (I'm looking for it now.) Never mind, found it!

All good, I put an edit in to tell people to keep the discussion here. For once I thought I had found something first XD

Dexterity:
What I found really annoying in the thread for the last article about this were the people screaming that Nintendo and all people who don't bother with promoting a pro-homosexual attitude are all scum. Intolerance works both ways, and so long as people aren't harming people in their views of homosexuality, it's okay to be anti-gay.

Agreed, I was getting frustrated at the whole "with us or against us" mentality that was being thrown around, that stuff aint healthy.

Dexterity:
I think Nintendo just didn't want to make a stance on the whole gay thing. There's risk for a large company in saying that they're anti or pro same sex marriages.

It's good that they're showing a very liberal view though.

What I found really annoying in the thread for the last article about this were the people screaming that Nintendo and all people who don't bother with promoting a pro-homosexual attitude are all scum. Intolerance works both ways, and so long as people aren't harming people in their views of homosexuality, it's okay to be anti-gay.

Well, you're in trouble now. Expect to be called every horrible word in the dictionary soon, because how dare you say something that the people here don't agree with, especially saying that a minority group of any kind can be wrong or that some of its members can be just as big of jerks as anyone else... You're going straight to hell now. I'll save you a seat.

It's nice for Nintendo to apologize and promise to do better next time, though I'm still not sold on why they left out the option in the first place or that it would be all that difficult to implement post release. Basically, I just see this whole issue as just more confirmation (as if it was needed) that Nintendo is, quite frankly, out of touch with the present.

Jupiter065:
I give it maybe a month before someone patches it in somehow, despite how "impossible" Nintento says that would be.

This is what I'm expecting as well.

Good on them, I can understand their original stance especially given the culture Nintendo originates from, but certainly over here in the West leaving out gay relationships from a game like this is not a 'neutral' option that avoids 'social commentary', leaving out an entire group of people from your game is not neutrality in the slightest. Hopefully they'll stick by their word.

Seriously!

Sony or Microsoft pulled this and it would a comments section filled with "yeah, right!" and out right aggression, Nintendo can get a little bit of stick, say "maybe next time" and all is good?

Shit, sim city NEEDED to be online and hey ho, couple of months later, off line! We cannot patch same sex relationships in? Really?

Frankly the whole "no social commentary" was exactly the opposite, to me it sounded like "hetro or nothing".

I wouldn't say I am a Nintendo hater but I have no clue why they get so much love.

LysanderNemoinis:

Well, you're in trouble now. Expect to be called every horrible word in the dictionary soon, because how dare you say something that the people here don't agree with, especially saying that a minority group of any kind can be wrong or that some of its members can be just as big of jerks as anyone else... You're going straight to hell now. I'll save you a seat.

Don't worry, I expect the hate train to come in, simply because I said something slightly off-key. What a world we live in.

Just to clarify though, I never said that being anti-gay is RIGHT, but people ARE entitled to their views. People might also be racist or sexist, but so long as people don't act out on those views and don't cause anyone uncomfort or harm with those views, then there's absolutely no problem in people having them.

What I do think is wrong is how people berate others for not being entirely pro-gay. It gives the community they're defending a bad name, makes the said person an outright hypocrite and makes them no different to the extreme anti-gays. Countering intolerance or tolerance with complete and utter disrespect and intolerance is not the right way forward.

omega 616:
Seriously!

Sony or Microsoft pulled this and it would a comments section filled with "yeah, right!" and out right aggression, Nintendo can get a little bit of stick, say "maybe next time" and all is good?

Shit, sim city NEEDED to be online and hey ho, couple of months later, off line! We cannot patch same sex relationships in? Really?

Frankly the whole "no social commentary" was exactly the opposite, to me it sounded like "hetro or nothing".

I wouldn't say I am a Nintendo hater but I have no clue why they get so much love.

They never said or did anything that was at all homophobic. They fixed a glitch in the game and then said "we have no opinion one way or the other".

If you remain absolutely neutral, then neither side of the spectrum has any reason to hate you. Nintendo are just getting backlash because people are confused by the concept.

This is good news,maybe now people will put down the pitch forks.

StriderShinryu:
It's nice for Nintendo to apologize and promise to do better next time, though I'm still not sold on why they left out the option in the first place or that it would be all that difficult to implement post release. Basically, I just see this whole issue as just more confirmation (as if it was needed) that Nintendo is, quite frankly, out of touch with the present.

Jupiter065:
I give it maybe a month before someone patches it in somehow, despite how "impossible" Nintento says that would be.

This is what I'm expecting as well.

They should not have left it out, but speaking as an actual software developer, seemingly small changes like this can be incredibly difficult to make work right. Considering the nature of the game, in which the characters act pretty much independent of player control, I would assume the change would be incredibly difficult. There would need to be changes to AI, changes to menu, entirely new AI variables, new events, new resources, new dialog, contextually changing dialog... It all depends on how it was done originally. This is not just changing one boolean flag check like everyone assumes it is. It might be impossible to do without rewriting the relationship AI and reworking the UI from the ground up. And then there is the bug and usability testing. And then the re printing of the carts... in a worst case scenario, it might have been better for them to just not release in English then try to rebuild the game to include homosexual relationships, but that is unlikely.

A change like this is a massive effort. We might see same sex marriage modded in, but I would be shocked if it is anything substantial. Would you really have preferred Nintendo to do a half-ass job on this one?

I really hope this period of financial battering makes Nintendo actually have some new and interesting game ideas. I know the announcement of yet another Pokemon re-make has made nostalgia-dollar fans jizz themselves and whilst it is nice it's still just another re-make from a company who's output in recent years has felt like nothing but re-makes and very gradual and slight iterations.

Dexterity:

omega 616:
Seriously!

Sony or Microsoft pulled this and it would a comments section filled with "yeah, right!" and out right aggression, Nintendo can get a little bit of stick, say "maybe next time" and all is good?

Shit, sim city NEEDED to be online and hey ho, couple of months later, off line! We cannot patch same sex relationships in? Really?

Frankly the whole "no social commentary" was exactly the opposite, to me it sounded like "hetro or nothing".

I wouldn't say I am a Nintendo hater but I have no clue why they get so much love.

They never said or did anything that was at all homophobic. They fixed a glitch in the game and then said "we have no opinion one way or the other".

If you remain absolutely neutral, then neither side of the spectrum has any reason to hate you. Nintendo are just getting backlash because people are confused by the concept.

The lack of a statement, is in of itself a statement if you didn't want to have backlash over something, don't make it ... art is sometimes controversial. You made a game in which you could have relationships with the opposite sex but not the same sex, that is a statement! One that might have been unintentional but it is one.

Nice to see Nintendo this quick on the ball with damage control, and showing some humility.

If only they were this quick in saving the Wii-U. :P

Scrumpmonkey:
I really hope this period of financial battering hopes Nintendo actually have some new and interesting game ideas. I know the announcement of yet another Pokemon re-make has made nostalgia-dollar fans jizz themselves and whilst it is nice it's still just another re-make from a company who's output in recent years has felt like nothing but re-makes and very gradual and slight iterations.

Your avatar made me chuckle.But the "All Nintendo makes is remakes and old IPs" isn't really correct considering they are making new games.However it's not their fault if people refuse to buy while still crying for something new.

DrOswald:

StriderShinryu:
It's nice for Nintendo to apologize and promise to do better next time, though I'm still not sold on why they left out the option in the first place or that it would be all that difficult to implement post release. Basically, I just see this whole issue as just more confirmation (as if it was needed) that Nintendo is, quite frankly, out of touch with the present.

Jupiter065:
I give it maybe a month before someone patches it in somehow, despite how "impossible" Nintento says that would be.

This is what I'm expecting as well.

They should not have left it out, but speaking as an actual software developer, seemingly small changes like this can be incredibly difficult to make work right. Considering the nature of the game, in which the characters act pretty much independent of player control, I would assume the change would be incredibly difficult. There would need to be changes to AI, changes to menu, entirely new AI variables, new events, new resources, new dialog, contextually changing dialog... It all depends on how it was done originally. This is not just changing one boolean flag check like everyone assumes it is. It might be impossible to do without rewriting the relationship AI and reworking the UI from the ground up. And then there is the bug and usability testing. And then the re printing of the carts... in a worst case scenario, it might have been better for them to just not release in English then try to rebuild the game to include homosexual relationships, but that is unlikely.

A change like this is a massive effort. We might see same sex marriage modded in, but I would be shocked if it is anything substantial. Would you really have preferred Nintendo to do a half-ass job on this one?

Thanks for weighing in. I am not a developer, but as a layman I'd assumed the same thing. Which is to say, the tone-deafness and weirdness of their initial reaction aside, I take them at the word that they can't do it with this game without severe headaches.

Casual Shinji:
Nice to see Nintendo this quick on the ball with damage control, and showing some humility.

If only they were this quick in saving the Wii-U. :P

At this point there's nothing they can do about that one.People are already dead set against the WiiU so it's a uphill battle for Nintendo.

the hidden eagle:

Scrumpmonkey:
I really hope this period of financial battering hopes Nintendo actually have some new and interesting game ideas. I know the announcement of yet another Pokemon re-make has made nostalgia-dollar fans jizz themselves and whilst it is nice it's still just another re-make from a company who's output in recent years has felt like nothing but re-makes and very gradual and slight iterations.

Your avatar made me chuckle.But the "All Nintendo makes is remakes and old IPs" isn't really correct considering they are making new games.However it's not their fault if people refuse to buy while still crying for something new.

What New IPs are Nintendo bringing to the table in the next year or so? I haven't been made aware of a single one.

Scrumpmonkey:

the hidden eagle:

Scrumpmonkey:
I really hope this period of financial battering hopes Nintendo actually have some new and interesting game ideas. I know the announcement of yet another Pokemon re-make has made nostalgia-dollar fans jizz themselves and whilst it is nice it's still just another re-make from a company who's output in recent years has felt like nothing but re-makes and very gradual and slight iterations.

Your avatar made me chuckle.But the "All Nintendo makes is remakes and old IPs" isn't really correct considering they are making new games.However it's not their fault if people refuse to buy while still crying for something new.

What New IPs are Nintendo bringing to the table in the next year or so? I haven't been made aware of a single one.

Well for the 3DS there was Bravely Default which turned out to be a massive success and is currently getting a sequel.Not to mention there are tons of third party games on the 3DS alone that don't revolve around the Main "3".For the WiiU there's Bayonetta 2 and a bunch of other games that I can't remember at the moment.And before that there were games like Okami and Wonder101 that did'nt sell as much despite people clamoring for something new.

Scrumpmonkey:

the hidden eagle:

Scrumpmonkey:
I really hope this period of financial battering hopes Nintendo actually have some new and interesting game ideas. I know the announcement of yet another Pokemon re-make has made nostalgia-dollar fans jizz themselves and whilst it is nice it's still just another re-make from a company who's output in recent years has felt like nothing but re-makes and very gradual and slight iterations.

Your avatar made me chuckle.But the "All Nintendo makes is remakes and old IPs" isn't really correct considering they are making new games.However it's not their fault if people refuse to buy while still crying for something new.

What New IPs are Nintendo bringing to the table in the next year or so? I haven't been made aware of a single one.

Off the top of my head X (developed by monolith, published by nintendo) and Wonderful 101 (published by nintendo) are both new IP's. I know there are more but they are smaller games so I am not going to bother with them. Also, we should be getting new announcements soon at e3, they might announce a new one there for 2015.

And one you should really know about, considering where you posted this, Tomodachi Life is a new IP.

the hidden eagle:

Scrumpmonkey:

the hidden eagle:
Your avatar made me chuckle.But the "All Nintendo makes is remakes and old IPs" isn't really correct considering they are making new games.However it's not their fault if people refuse to buy while still crying for something new.

What New IPs are Nintendo bringing to the table in the next year or so? I haven't been made aware of a single one.

Well for the 3DS there was Bravely Default which turned out to be a massive success and is currently getting a sequel.Not to mention there are tons of third party games on the 3DS alone that don't revolve around the Main "3".For the WiiU there's Bayonetta 2 and a bunch of other games that I can't remember at the moment.And before that there were games like Okami and Wonder101 that did'nt sell as much despite people clamoring for something new.

I can't speak for the other games, but Okami probably underperformed because most of the people likely to play it had already played it on PS2 the year before it came out on Wii. It underperformed on that system too, unfortunately. LIke Psychonauts, it's one of those "too good to succeed" kind of games.

How hard could it possibly be to include it? I'm wondering what in the world they're supposed to have done in the implementation that was more than just checking on the gender of a character before deciding if a relationship was possible.

Maybe a bit of dialogue as well, but how much difference is there between the situations?

the hidden eagle:
Well for the 3DS there was Bravely Default which turned out to be a massive success and is currently getting a sequel.Not to mention there are tons of third party games on the 3DS alone that don't revolve around the Main "3".For the WiiU there's Bayonetta 2 and a bunch of other games that I can't remember at the moment.And before that there were games like Okami and Wonder101 that did'nt sell as much despite people clamoring for something new.

Bravely Default has nothing to do with Nintendo. It was developed and published by Square Enix very famously it has caused to the want to get back to their roots. Okami was published by Capcom... in 2007... on the Playsation 2...

Games on Nintendo system =/= Nintendo games. Having some small degree of third party support is expected on any system, that does not contravene the point that Nintendo's own output has been incredibly safe and smaey.

Scrumpmonkey:

the hidden eagle:
Well for the 3DS there was Bravely Default which turned out to be a massive success and is currently getting a sequel.Not to mention there are tons of third party games on the 3DS alone that don't revolve around the Main "3".For the WiiU there's Bayonetta 2 and a bunch of other games that I can't remember at the moment.And before that there were games like Okami and Wonder101 that did'nt sell as much despite people clamoring for something new.

Bravely Default has nothing to do with Nintendo. It was developed and published by Square Enix very famously it has caused to the want to get back to their roots. Okami was published by Capcom... in 2007... on the Playsation 2...

Games on Nintendo system =/= Nintendo games. Having some small degree of third party support is expected on any system, that does not contravene the point that Nintendo's own output has been incredibly safe and smaey.

Bravely default is only on the 3DS which makes it a Nintendo IP.Just like how back in the day Metal Gear Solid was a Sony IP despite being made by Konami who is third party.

DrOswald:

StriderShinryu:
It's nice for Nintendo to apologize and promise to do better next time, though I'm still not sold on why they left out the option in the first place or that it would be all that difficult to implement post release. Basically, I just see this whole issue as just more confirmation (as if it was needed) that Nintendo is, quite frankly, out of touch with the present.

Jupiter065:
I give it maybe a month before someone patches it in somehow, despite how "impossible" Nintento says that would be.

This is what I'm expecting as well.

They should not have left it out, but speaking as an actual software developer, seemingly small changes like this can be incredibly difficult to make work right. Considering the nature of the game, in which the characters act pretty much independent of player control, I would assume the change would be incredibly difficult. There would need to be changes to AI, changes to menu, entirely new AI variables, new events, new resources, new dialog, contextually changing dialog... It all depends on how it was done originally. This is not just changing one boolean flag check like everyone assumes it is. It might be impossible to do without rewriting the relationship AI and reworking the UI from the ground up. And then there is the bug and usability testing. And then the re printing of the carts... in a worst case scenario, it might have been better for them to just not release in English then try to rebuild the game to include homosexual relationships, but that is unlikely.

A change like this is a massive effort. We might see same sex marriage modded in, but I would be shocked if it is anything substantial. Would you really have preferred Nintendo to do a half-ass job on this one?

I'm currently studying to get into game development, and this is completely accurate.

You can't just change one line of code and expect the entire program to work exactly the same. It could possibly create even more glitches, or even make the game not work at all.

Anyway, good for Nintendo for coming in and doing their best to defuse the situation.

the hidden eagle:
Bravely default is only on the 3DS which makes it a Nintendo IP.Just like how back in the day Metal Gear Solid was a Sony IP despite being made by Konami who is third party.

This is one of the wierdest arguments I've ever heard. DayZ is only on microsoft windows, does that make it a Microsoft IP? God the Nintendo fans are really reaching today. 3DS is a system that has a lot of exclusive games because of it's specific hardware as a handheld. That does not make Nintendo responsible for those IPs existing.

This article should be titled "Nintendo has to repeat what they already said on the Tomodachi Life with even a more bold and stupid proof statement" because that's all I'm seeing in this.

marioandsonic:

DrOswald:

StriderShinryu:
It's nice for Nintendo to apologize and promise to do better next time, though I'm still not sold on why they left out the option in the first place or that it would be all that difficult to implement post release. Basically, I just see this whole issue as just more confirmation (as if it was needed) that Nintendo is, quite frankly, out of touch with the present.

This is what I'm expecting as well.

They should not have left it out, but speaking as an actual software developer, seemingly small changes like this can be incredibly difficult to make work right. Considering the nature of the game, in which the characters act pretty much independent of player control, I would assume the change would be incredibly difficult. There would need to be changes to AI, changes to menu, entirely new AI variables, new events, new resources, new dialog, contextually changing dialog... It all depends on how it was done originally. This is not just changing one boolean flag check like everyone assumes it is. It might be impossible to do without rewriting the relationship AI and reworking the UI from the ground up. And then there is the bug and usability testing. And then the re printing of the carts... in a worst case scenario, it might have been better for them to just not release in English then try to rebuild the game to include homosexual relationships, but that is unlikely.

A change like this is a massive effort. We might see same sex marriage modded in, but I would be shocked if it is anything substantial. Would you really have preferred Nintendo to do a half-ass job on this one?

I'm currently studying to get into game development, and this is completely accurate.

You can't just change one line of code and expect the entire program to work exactly the same. It could possibly create even more glitches, or even make the game not work at all.

Anyway, good for Nintendo for coming in and doing their best to defuse the situation.

Not to mention that the same sex couple "feature" in question actually corrupted save files, crashed the game, and in some instances actually damaged the 3DS itself.

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