The video game publisher has caved into calls to make its Tomadachi Life game series more reflective of modern society after a fan campaign attracted media attention last week. Nintendo has issued a heartfelt apology to gamers, just days after it argued the virtual equality stance was not about trying to “provide social commentary”.
In a statement the company said it is “not possible” to update the game to feature gay characters ahead of its launch in Europe and North America next month (6 June). Nintendo did, however, vow to address the gay omission in future editions of the life simulator.
The company said: “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. 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.”
The apology caps off the same-sex controversy, which first arose last year when players of the Japanese version of Tomadachi Life uncovered a glitch that let them re-gender male characters to female and consequently engage gay relationships. Nintendo cut the glitch for the upcoming international release, sparking gamer Tye Marini to launch the online campaign last month.