Bioware Introduces Same-Gender Romance in Star Wars: The Old Republic
In a recent developer blog, Jeff Hickman, the executive producer of Star Wars: The Old Republic, released information concerning the upcoming expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel. The blog discusses new end game content, world PvP, the ability to copy characters to public test servers, and same gender romances. The same gender romance has garnered the most attention because it is something many players have been looking forward to.
The specifics of this are:
Topic #4: Same Gender Romance: Any news on this front would be great… Answer: First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character. Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of.
Secondly, I want to reveal today that we are adding SGR with some NPCs on Makeb and do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future. More details to come!
While this is not exactly new information to any players still involved with SW:TOR, there is a reason to pull this story into the limelight: Fox News. Although Fox News is not exactly known for being the most unbiased source, it does bring some interesting questions about SW:TOR to the forefront. While not necessarily segregating the gay characters as claimed by Fox News, it does seem unusual to have not included same gender romance from the start, which is a hallmark of the recent Bioware franchises Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
As the above excerpt mentions, Bioware had unexpected delays courtesy of both adapting the free-to-play model and also the discovery that adding same gender romances would require more work than expected. With Rise of the Hutt Cartel slated to release in spring, Bioware’s attention is, understandably so, focused on creating and refining the new content. Thusly, it makes logical sense that same gender romances will be limited to the new planet Makeb. Hickman states that they plan on pursuing further options for same gender romances in the future, and Bioware’s track record should be indicative of their intent to expand on these initial options.
For some, however, this news is bittersweet since Rise of the Hutt Cartel will be a paid expansion. Not only are homosexual characters limited to a single planet, but they are also buried behind a pay wall in a free-to-play MMO. Despite the initial omission, the community pushing for this feature will soon be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.