The Next Mass Effect Andromeda Patch Will Let Male Characters Romance Jaal

Mass Effect: Andromeda's next patch has the sort of improvements you might expect, like expanded character creation options. It also has something very unusual for a video game patch: It adds another gay romance route for lovesick space adventurers.

As we reported earlier this year, there was much controversy within the LGBT Mass Effect fan community due to fewer romance options that were considered paltry next to the offerings for straight characters. The disappointment was not helped by data miners' discovery that, at one point, it seemed as if Jaal the Angaran was available as a male romance option for male Ryders — but that didn't make it into the full game. In patch 1.08, that's going to change. Here's Bioware, explaining why they're adding this to the game:

Scott Ryder did not have a same-sex squadmate available as a romance option, nor could the achievement for completing three romances be achieved with only male same-sex partners. And as the angara have expressed their fluidity in how they perceive gender, it seemed only natural that Scott could have a relationship with Jaal.

However, we understand that a character's orientation is an important part of what makes them feel real. The relationships with your crew are some of the most loved and cherished parts of our games, so we wanted to make sure we got it right. We consulted with members of the LGBTQ community, both externally and within our own studios. After carefully considering all feedback, we decided this was an important change to make, and one that made sense for Jaal, Scott, and the angara.

Our writing, editing, and animation teams worked together to ensure this change made sense for Jaal's character, and the result is a relationship we hope feels as fulfilling and memorable for Scott as it does for Sara.

No ETA on when players can download the patch, or even what, exactly, Jaal's male romance path will look like, but you can read the full notes here.


Comments

    LOL, so they just turned one of the characters bisexual?

    "...this change made sense..."

    Bwahahahaha.

    Imagine if they had turned Suvi into a bisexual character.... oh no, that would not have made sense, surely.

    This is a very good example of pandering.

      Oh shut up.

        Oh come on, let me have my fun :-)

          no, just the internet is full of such vacuous comments enough, they werent funny the first few thousand times, even less so now

            Oh, my comment was serious enough (despite the tone). At the end of the day, a developer would rather remove a heterosexual-exclusive option than a homosexual-exclusive option because, let's face it, whites, heterosexuals and cis-gendered males don't have the moral right to be offended by anything concerning their race, gender or sexual orientation (at least, they don't, according to the Outrage Police).

              If you think about it from the developer's perspective, once they're in that spot they wouldn't remove either option. Suggesting they would make that choice is ... unrealistic, I think.

                My point is that they did remove a hetero-exclusive option. Jaal was hetero-exclusive. Leaving aside the issue of the data-mining, Jaal's character was defined by the devs as hetero (as much as an alien could be). I guess he was seen as an easy target to become bi-curious, whereas with someone like Suvi or Gil, doing so would be seen by some as 'problematic' because it would be like the devs taking something away from the gay community.

                I'm not against more romance options, but as band-aid solutions go, this was pretty ham-fisted.

                  It's semantic gymnastics to consider the addition of an option without any tangible removal as "taking away exclusivity". Nothing substantial is lost by doing this, being "hetero-exclusive" is a meaningless distinction. If you're a woman who wants to romance Jaal you still can. If you're a man who wants to romance Jaal you now have that option.

                  The net result is a gain, not a loss, and trying to cast it as a loss is disingenuous.

                  does it really matter in life? is the world of gaming made worse by this decision? is your life made worse by this small decision in a computer game? is the fundamental structure of the game jeopardised? now weigh that up against how this tiny inclusion may make other people's game more interesting.

                  Given all that is going on in the world I cant even remote feign any outrage for something so small a thing. And yes us white, straight males really arent in a position to be offended because our first hand experience of said matters is impossible. That is not even debatable, just documented social history. Naturally there are a lot of things we can still be offended by in life, but for those subjects, nope, not even remotely. We have owned the last few centuries I think we can take a bump or two to our fragile ego, we have had it coming for a while now. hehe

                  @zombiejesus

                  Precisely an example of what I was talking about. "Nothing substantial is lost" -- would people say the same if it were a gay character being 'turned' bi-sexual because heterosexuals wanted more options? Some might...

                  @blakeavon

                  Affirmative action ('positive' discrimination) or equality? I know which one I'd rather have, but we don't really have a choice now, do we? We have to put up with it, but that's not to say we shouldn't discuss it :-)

                  Here we've got reverse discrimination masquerading as equality because the devs didn't have the courage to either say 'sorry you feel that way - that's just how we made the game - we'll try to improve next time' or to introduce a completely new character as a romance option.

                  Why do you see this as a problem? Who cares if a character is 'hetero-exclusive' or not?
                  I don't want to bang Jaal, but if I did I would absolutely be upset if I now couldn't anymore, but that's not what's happened - now more people can bang Jaal. Why is that a problem for you given the option you seemingly favor hasn't been removed? But if you aren't into Jaal as a woman or as a man then your line of argument is even more ridiculous. Why do you care at all? Who gives a damn, especially given it was planned as content for the game before being cut, that men can now bump uglies with the guy except for the men or women who wanted to see that happen?

                  I'm totally with Zombie Jesus here The net result is a gain, not a loss, and trying to cast it as a loss is disingenuous. I just don't understand how you can try to spin this in a negative light. You lose nothing you had before.

                  @ctrlsaltdelete Not necessarily a negative depending on how you roll, but the fact remains that Jaal's character has been altered from heterosexual to bisexual. Leaving aside the fact that this is a video game and Jaal is an alien, sexuality can be a big deal in a potential romantic pairing. Some people would be turned off a potential romantic interest if they were bisexual.

      I know right, it's dumb.

      "we understand that a character's orientation is an important part of what makes them feel real" [...] So they changed this one, thereby demolishing their own ethos.

    The apparent ease of this change lends a lot of support to the notion that Jaal was always intended to be a gay romance option earlier in development but was removed. At the very least this would have required additional voice work from either male Ryder or Jaal, which seems like it probably already existed.

      I was honestly expecting Liam, but Jaal makes a lot of sense. If he can fall in love with an alien, does it really matter which gender that alien is? It's likely not about any biologically-programmed attraction at that point...

        Exactly, it's just about the booty!

        LOL at the prevalence of anthropomorphic aliens in the ME universe. Props to Bioware for the Elcore and the Hanar though :-) I don't count the Krogan, as they are pure beefcake!

          Well, to be fair, the Angarans have a really good in-game ultra-spoilery reason for being humanoid, and to a certain extent so do the Kett.

            Hmmm, I might have to play the game one of these days. Been waiting for a price drop to about $30.

          Reminds me of Jay and Silent Bob...

          Jay: "I feel good today, Silent Bob, we're gonna make some money, then you know ... are making that movie, we're gonna make 'em eat our shit, then shit out our shit, ... to see a new galaxy, or find a new alien lifeform...and fuck it."

        On the idea of romancing non-human species: if Bioware release a game with an intelligent talking sheep that you can romance and have sex with, where does one draw the line between acceptable and just plain weird?

    When are they releasing the patch that makes the game good?

      it already is, flawed, a tad broken in a few ways, disappointing in others but with like 100 hours in the game (and barely seen have the worlds) the idea of 'good' is very subjective. Just because you dont like it, that doesnt make it bad, just makes it a game you dont like.

    Its nice that they are adding more options for people that maybe weren't as well represented before.

    I personally skipped all romance options because apparently patient-doctor relationships are a no go :'(

      So far none of the romance options are interesting because I don't find any of the characters mentally or physically attractive. It's going to be asexual Ryder for this one.

        But Lexi T'Perro, its ok to admit it. :P

          Yeah OK, maybe her. Along with all the other Asari in the game that use the exact same character model.

            Its purely the voice, I am a bit of a freak for accents/noises and she does it for me.

            We all know the Asari use mind tricks to make us THINK they look like us. The convo in ME2 at one of the bars prove that. Maybe your just seeing them all the same, because that's what you WANT to see? :P

          The game went down several notches in my estimation once I found Lexi wasn't romanceable. I mean, why!? It would've been a perfect homage to My Lady Blue Goddess...

        Jaal is adorable, but... an alien. The neckflap/chest grossness was a bit of a turn-off. For simplicity's sake, my poor Sara ended up having a fling with kooky 'absence of evidence is evidence of the divine' so-called science officer Suvi.

        Scott didn't fare much better either. The B in PeeBee stands for 'baggage'. When someone gears their entire life philosophy around their abandonment issues from an ex who they are clearly not over, you need to back the fuck away until they sort their shit out. Given asari lifespan, peebs might get her shit together in a century or two. Cora is obviously the one the devs spent the most time on designing the romance for... but good God, Sergeant Tumblr-hair is a fucking broken record Asari-weeb who can not let go of her Pathfinder hangups to the point that it's a huge turn-off.

          Um, that's Lieutenant Tumblr-hair to you, scrub.

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