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.