Nintendo Issues Statement on Same-Sex Couples in Tomodachi Life
Earlier this week, Tye "Tyeforce" Marini made a video protesting Tomodachi Life's lack of same-sex couples (though the problem Tye has is more about blocking off extra marriage-related game content to a certain relationship type). Nintendo issued a statement about the video:
The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that 'Tomodachi Life' was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary.
That one statement makes Nintendo seem like they were deliberately excluding same-sex couples to avoid controversy. While the rest of the exchange shows Nintendo is understanding of Tye's concerns, outlets like Polygon and The Escapist still published negative opinion pieces about Nintendo's handling of the situation.
Fast forward to today as Nintendo has released a new statement about Tomodachi Life.
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.
This really should have been Nintendo's statement from the start. The issue was never about social commentary, but that Tomodachi Life was never designed to include same-sex couples and the localization team couldn't change it. It boggles my mind why Nintendo would bring up "social commentary" the way they did. It's just asking for the Streisand Effect to kick in.
In any case, I agree with Tye that we shouldn't boycott Tomodachi Life. Personally, I'm buying a copy of the game while sending a letter to Nintendo asking for same-sex couples in the sequel. We should all be able to choose who we want to roll around on the carpet with, regardless of gender.