Nintendo Apologises For Not Putting Gay Marriage In Tomodachi Life

Nintendo Apologises For Not Putting Gay Marriage In Tomodachi Life

Following widespread controversy earlier this week, Nintendo has apologised for not supporting gay marriage in Tomodachi Life, promising that if it does make a sequel, it will be “more inclusive”.

Here’s Nintendo’s full statement, posted on its website this afternoon:

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 instalment 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.

It’s a straightforward, honest, heartfelt response, coming just two days after the less thoughtful statement Nintendo sent out to media outlets as a response to a fan petition to put gay marriage in Tomodachi Life, which comes out this June for 3DS. The game, which lets you watch characters interact and build relationships in an alternate world not unlike The Sims or Animal Crossing, only allows characters to date other characters of the opposite sex.


  • I feel like this is more or less a more detailed version of their initial statement… What are they saying here that’s different?

    • The first one dismissed gay relationships as a ‘social commentary’, and basically said they shouldn’t be in the game.

      This one acknowledged they should.

      • How did everyone get that?!

        I’m not one to defend Nintendo but this is just a false accusation. They clearly meant that the omission was not meant to be a social commentary and that it wasn’t a reflection on their views on homosexuality.

        And the second paragraph explicitly states they’re listening to complaints and taking them on board. The second statement, if anything, is an edit of phrasing, not their stance on the issue.

        I think people just hear what they want to hear.

  • We pledge that if we create a next instalment 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.

    Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but I bet that there will not be another installment of the Tomodachi series, and if there is, it’ll likely never see a release outside of Japan.

    • That’s basically what I assumed as well.

      Oh this isn’t Tomadachi Life 2, it’s Live Tomadachi! A brand new IP!

      • I really, really, really don’t think they’d pull something so petty just as an excuse to sustain bigotry. This really should be taken at face value.

        Edit: I’m not saying I think there’ll necessarily be a sequel and/or released out of Japan, but I don’t believe renaming/rebranding just to get out of an ‘uncomfortable’ social discussion will factor into their decision-making process at all.

        They’ve pretty clearly said they aim to be more inclusive in future, which is positive language.

        • I was being a little facetious, I don’t think they’d actually be that petty. I’d more assume they don’t have many plans for it/don’t see demand for it but in future will try and avoid the same issue.

          And I don’t think they’re doing it to sustain bigotry, in all honesty I think the decision not to be inclusive was a business decision. Some executive decided included it would create an expensive controversy so refused to support it.

          The statement is good news, and kudos to Nintendo for taking the position even if they aren’t acting on it. It’s just sometimes hard to quiet down the little cynic inside me.

  • Im sure it was discussed in development, as it seems an obvious inclusion. But regardless, they shouldnt have to apologise for (supposedly) ‘not supporting gay marriage’.

    • Yeah. I think that, especially being a game made in the east, there would have been more backlash if they had included it than if they didn’t.

      Also, I don’t feel that Nintendo made the wrong choice. What people are asking for is for Nintendo/ the developers to change/ go agains their own sexual/ social/ spiritual/ personal beliefs to be more in line with their own/ more western views and I don’t know if I agree with that. I think demanding it to be in the game is just as bad to Nintendo as not having it in the game is for the people who are demanding it.

      And no, I don’t think Nintendo are opposed to it IN REAL LIFE, but didn’t necessarily feel it SHOULD or had to be included in their game (For whatever personal or cultural reasons WHICH SHOULD BE RESPECTED just as much as yours or mine.)

      Unfortunately we live in a world where people believe they are right or wrong and demand what they want and nothing short and a middle ground isn’t acceptable (From my understanding in the game you can do most things with a same sex person as one of the opposite sex except get hitched etc.)

      Edited for spelling, I suck at spelling and such.

  • I used to like gay people until all this “include me and my gay friends in everything when homosexuals are only 10% of the population, even though i can’t be bothered to actually buy the game or make one myself.”

    • Look like you’re the one who should get over yourself. And you obviously don’t know any gay people, because if you did, you would not have made that comment. Sigh.

      • (To clarify this is to gravy IDK what happened to the post)

        I get what you are saying: no one likes someone else’s beliefs forced onto them, but unfortunately you seem to have gone just that way yourself. The irony eh?

        I don’t see a problem with gay marriage etc. I don’t have a problem with other peoples beliefs or faiths, unless they are forced onto me or do someone harm in any way. Saying that I think it is clear, IMHO, that what Nintendo has done is OK (But clearly an issue for discussion), what you have said is hurtful and a generalisation and hence not OK.

        I hope that’s not offensive to anyone, it’s hard to tell these days sometimes.

        • I used to have a gay friend until i dropped contact with him, one of the worst thieves and liars i ever met but that’s on him not because he was gay.

          I don’t believe homosexually should be strong arming anything, if they wan’t to get married go through the government or create a religious offshoot from Christianity that will let you get gay married, DO NOT force a religion that does not believe in your ideals to change for you.

          I used to be so liberal until i saw the worst bullies and life ruiners came from the left side.

          • Uhhh… How do they go through the government exactly?

            Are you suggesting a coup?

            And it’s not the fact they’re Christian stopping them from getting married, it’s Politicians who are too scared of Christian voters to change the laws to allow it. If anyone is doing strong arming it’s the religious fundamentalists.

            The best way for progress is to normalise it, let people get used to it being around and realise there’s nothing wrong with it. Making sure their views are reflected in the community, in our media and our social consciousness.

            Such as not excluding them in a video game, since you need to start somewhere.

          • While I agree that they shouldn’t force it on people I don’t think its as black and white as you make it out to be unfortunately because I understand where both sides are coming from

            The Christians (And other religions I suppose) are saying marriage is the coming together of a man and woman before God and, in a way I suppose that that doesn’t say that people cannot be gay in their eyes, but that marriage IN THEIR RELIGION (Which I believe should be respected) is for a man and woman and so I don’t think we can force it in.

            I do think however it should be fine for them to be legally married in the eyes of the law as I don’t think that really opposes anyones spiritual beliefs as it has nothing to do with any one said religion, but hey we all have our own opinions hey right?

    • They don’t need to be included in everything, but the more times they’re excluded the more damage it does to people’s lives.

      No one asks for gay people to be included in any specific fiction, but do ask for more to be in fiction in general.

      The situation with games like this though are that they give players the freedom to simulate relationships but then add an arbitrary system to prevent gay relationships. There’s no reason for it except to be exclusionary, judgemental or bigoted.

      10% is a rather large proportion. I’m going to use COD to demonstate, Ghosts has sold 14.5 million units, assuming 10% that means there are likely 1.45 million gay COD players. Should activision just ignore/attack that many of it’s fans? This is why companies try to not pick a side, but that of course just means they support the status quo.

      As for them not buying the game…. Obviously since a lot of people were exploiting the original glitch in Japan there was some demand within the games audience.

      What I don’t get is people so threatened by what other people might do in a game… It’s mind boggling.

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