Nintendo has become embroiled in a row with LGBT rights campaigners after it confirmed Tomodachi Life, a life-sim set for UK and US release next month, would allow heterosexual but not homosexual marriages between players.
A statement from Nintendo of America said the widely-respected publisher “never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life” and that the “relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation”.
But campaigners say they will continue pressing Nintendo to “make an effort” to resolve the issue.
Tye Marini, a gay 23-year old from the the US, launched the ‘#Miiquality’ campaign last month, which encouraged people to write to the studio asking for same-sex marriage functionality to be added. In an online video, he protested that he wouldn’t be able to marry his fiancé in the game.
He said: “I want to be able to marry my real-life fiance’s Mii, but I can’t do that. My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé’s Mii, or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it.”
The game was originally released in Japan – a country in which same-sex marriage is not legal – last year, but Marini called for Nintendo “to add same-sex relationships to Tomodachi Life via an update, or at least ensure that it is included in a future sequel”.
Following Nintendo’s refusal to update the game, Marini said on Wednesday: “I would hope that they recognize the issue with the exclusion of same-sex relationships in the game and make an effort to resolve it. Until then, Miiquality will continue to raise awareness of the issue.”