Nintendo explains why it won't allow same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life

"The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation," Nintendo says.

Mario and Zelda creator Nintendo has issued a statement that explains why the company does not allow same-sex relationships in its popular 3DS game Tomodachi Life, which is coming to North America in June.

"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life," a Nintendo of America representative told the Associated Press. "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."

Nintendo's statement comes after a fan started a social media campaign last month calling on Nintendo to allow same-sex relationship options in the game. The issue is particularly pressing, campaign creator Tye Marini says in the video below, because married characters have access to exclusive features like bigger houses and the ability to have a child.

Tomodachi Life is one of the 3DS' best-selling games ever, having sold 1.85 million units to date.

Marini told the Associated Press: "It's more of an issue for this game because the characters are supposed to be a representation of your real life. You import your personalized characters into the game. You name them. You give them a personality. You give them a voice. They just can't fall in love if they're gay."

Tomodachi Life originally launched in Japan more than a year ago, and comes to North America and Europe on June 6. Same-sex relationships were not part of the original Japanese version, and because the Western iteration uses the same code, it does not include the option either, Nintendo said.

Marini is not looking for fans to boycott Tomodachi Life, but rather wants them to post on social media using the hashtag #Miiquality, and let Nintendo know that they would like to see same-sex relationship options in a future Tomodachi Life or an update to the game.

"We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses," Nintendo told the Associated Press about the campaign. "We will continue to listen and think about the feedback. We're using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organization."

For more on Tomodachi Life, be sure to read GameSpot's interview with Nintendo's Bill Trinen.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

423 comments
AndreasRufus
AndreasRufus

The whole "homophobia at nintendo"-issue seems selfmade to me, like a lot of "homophobia"-issues these days. C'mon, when did you people stop having fun at games? And that's what this is - a very "not so realistic" one at that! Just stop seeing homophobia at every corner and try to fight it where it is needed!


Stephen Fry said: "Homosexuals are not interested in making other people homosexuals. Homophobes are interested in making other people homophobic." I so agree on this one, yet it seems the LGBT community and their supporters (and general "yes"-sayers) are more interested in making every topic homophobic as well. 


As for this game: Where are options for creating disabled people? For people with a hunchback, for people with a missing limp? Did you ever think about this?

Nepti
Nepti

I remember the days when a "Men" or "Women" sign in front of a public bathroom clearly communicated a message everyone understood without needing a masters degree in gender studies. Ah yes, those were the days.

Twilleppac
Twilleppac

**And then Nintendo never brought over a life simulation game they made to America ever again**

axholerose
axholerose

I haven't seen anyone suggest this but I think the fact that the game is rated for children aged 7+ and up may be a crucial factor in their decision.  I'm not accusing them of discrimination, but from what I have observed, homophobic bigots are usually very concerned when it comes to childrens' influences.  That is why countries like Iran and Russia take drastic measures to make sure their children are educated at an early age to view homosexuality as abnormal.  Again, I'm not accusing Nintendo of following this line of thinking, but it's a very archaic way of thinking if true.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Have many of you seen the film "Armageddon"?


Remember the scene where Bruce Willis asks Ben Affleck whose name is on the oil rig, then gives a small speech about when he (Affleck) has his own company, and puts his own money on the line, he can do what every he wants with it?There is no law that says homosexuals can't create their own company and design their own products targeted towards other homosexuals. Minorities have been doing it for years when they felt their needs weren't being met by others. There was an HBCU (Historically Black College/University) football game released a few years ago. It may have sucked, but they at least had the guts to create something that no one else would.

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Good, stick to your guns Nintendo. Don't change it to appeal to specific interests. 

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

To be fair, they didnt really say anything against Same sex marriage, they already stated before that Tomodachi Life outside Japan will be much different as it will focus on the interactions rather than the full lifestyle the japanese version has. The game is being altered from the original.


If say they did bring the full version of what the japanese version had, THEN you could give them the statement question. Cause their comment is about the Marriage option in general, not specifically same sex marriage.

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

I see both sides to this. On one had if you release something to the public it is open to social commentary regardless of your original agenda. Also Japan is homophobic, is it a surprise their games reflect that in a way? On the other hand it is not a life simulator game and it doesn't have to cater to all audiences. Also how does the lack of the virtual marrying of pixels infringe on your sexuality. Choose your battles. At the end of the day Nintendo should just release a small patch, b/c it's still bad press and that's the last thing they need right now, plus they won't have to deal with this shit in future games.

maxpowr3
maxpowr3

Soon after, Nintendo will allow you date your Nintendog. Where does it stop?

metallinatus
metallinatus

Although I understand the not-so-good explanation.... just release a small update to make everybody happy, it won't hurt them so much, wiil it?

xXl_z3r0_lXx
xXl_z3r0_lXx

I bet the mods in this thread are just having the best time right now.

girlshavefuntoo
girlshavefuntoo

I don't see how it's difficult to remove or alter the code that puts gender restrictions on relationships. There's no reason not to allow it other than homophobia..

Vodoo
Vodoo

This shouldn't even be an issue in this type of game. This is a game for children! Kids shouldn't be presented with adult issues. Let them play their simple game and be children without making grown-up decisions; there's plenty of time for that later in life.

Michformer
Michformer

Tolerance goes both ways.

Game developers shouldn't be forced to change their games just to comply with special interest groups.

Triton
Triton

For once I agree with big "N". Don't give into special interest groups, once you open that door all the other freaks will pour in It's not real life, they will be alright, well at least the best they can be.

prats93
prats93

Can't say i'm surprised. Nintendo are by far the most ass-backwards gaming company right now, probably explains why they're doing so shit.

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

Yet another way in which Nintendo is stuck in the past..

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

"We made the game we wanted and we're not going to go back and change it for you because some idiot tumblr social justice warriors complained."


Nintendo finally does something right for once.

brdeftone
brdeftone

Mario rescues the princess, not Luigi. Stop forcing YOUR agenda on us!

brdeftone
brdeftone

Good for Nintendo, glad to see the stood on principle and did not cave to the bullies!

semitope
semitope

@axholerose  calling someone a homophobic bigot because they have moral objections to a behavior is bigotry in itself. Congrats. Especially when they are trying to prevent children from being exposed to something they find objectionable. Bold new world


You mention Iran and Russia as if people where you are don't do it. Its also amusing since those in favor of homosexuality have attempted to get their "its ok" message to kids as well. I guess only one view must have a chance. Everybody else hasn't the right and is a bigot for even trying to act in line with their views.

it is also archaic to think robbery and murder are wrong. Lets hope a change in the number indicating what year it is doesn't change these moral truths. 

bcraigv
bcraigv

@FallenOneX  But we need the big companies to recognize that there is a diverse group of people that need to be fully represented in their games because that is exactly who they're selling their products too, a diverse group of people.

AndreasRufus
AndreasRufus

@bubba_1988  Nope. They tolerate it. But to be fair: They do tolerate homosexual artists more than (for example) they homosexual politicians.


However, Japan is very reserved with and kind of showing your relationship in public. A boy kissing a girl, even holding hands in public is a rarity.

XenoSage
XenoSage

@maxpowr3  

It stops when it is not about two consenting adults wanting to commit to a relationship.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@metallinatus  Because it wouldn't make "everyone" happy, just a select group. By the end of the week, everyone that want's a certain race or culture to be included in the game will have the right to ask, and expect, Nintendo to do the same for them.

leetzuko
leetzuko

@girlshavefuntoo There is a reason. Babies. How is tomodachi going to justify babies from homosexual relations? I'm not against homosexualism or gaiety, but guess what? two guys banging won't make a kid. Nintendo would have more headache if they tried.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

So you know the programm code? You know how much the american team is allowed to change?

I think it is dumb to say an entire company is homophobic. Pretty sure they just made the game and do not want to put much effort into it for some small group that likes to whine around a lot

bcraigv
bcraigv

@brdeftone  Annnd what agenda is that? I'm sorry but, I would like a to be represented and it's not wrong for saying so. Noone is forcing anything on you...

semitope
semitope

@bcraigv @FallenOneX  Video games still barely involve people of different races, yet the homosexuals are the ones crying the most

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@bcraigv There's really no way to "fully represent" all people that may or may not buy their games. If that was the case, then Nintendo should start by adding a minority to the Mario cast. What, Black man can't be a plumber or drive a go kart? (last sentence to be read stereotypically, the same way I would in front of my Non-Black friends to get a laugh).

girlshavefuntoo
girlshavefuntoo

@ArchoNils2  If relationships are restricted on gender then there's certainly a code making it so. Changing it should not be hard at all.

brdeftone
brdeftone

Lame, we all know since Princess Peach's debut appearance, Mario and Peach have always been shown to be in a romantic relationship while Luigi and Mario's relationship has always been shown as brotherhood......

brdeftone
brdeftone

The ones that try to force you to change your traditional values and views by calling you a bigot, homophobe, and hateful because of those views!

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

I guess he is refering to the people who think that their small group is more important than other small groups and that they fight for them alone. Why aren't gaymer fighting for transgender Miis? Why aren't transgender people whining at all while the so called gaymer have to cry about every game which "only" has hetero relationships?

anaccsa
anaccsa

@yearsomuch are you referring to the people who want to force their belief that same-sex relationships shouldn't  be allowed (when it shouldn't even be a concern)? i agree. 

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

In the best case yes, there is just a validation method where you put both Miis in and it returns a boolean. In the worst case the entire game is build around the promise that samesex haracters have different stats, maybe only they being able to be your best friend or whatever.

leetzuko
leetzuko

@brdeftone You are a bigot because you are basically saying "They're bullies for pointing out an issues a WHOLE TENTH of the world is concerned."


"Traditional values" should be reviewed and revised to keep up with needs, changes and truths.


Though this one instance of Tomodachi isn't all that serious, the portrayal and representation of over 700,000,000 people is.

snacky_smorez
snacky_smorez

@brdeftone

While technically on some level this could be misconstrued as bullying you and everyone who shares as you put it "traditional values" (basically so you can push you religious agenda without having to out right say so) has been bullying people for quite sometime.

Triton
Triton

@brdeftoneYou always hear from the loud few, most just stay quiet on the subject in fear of the bullying if they speak out.

brdeftone
brdeftone

Yes it is verbally bullying, if you can't see that then IDK what to say.....