Star Wars: The Old Republic and Same Gender Romance

Makeb: the new planet that will be available in the Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion pack.

Makeb: the new planet that will be available in the Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion pack.

Players of the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic will soon see a long awaited option available to them in game: same gender romance! This has been discussed for awhile (see our January 2012 review of the game) but we now know that it will become official this spring.

The expansion pack Rise of the Hutt Cartel will increase the level cap, create a new area and story line, and include a new option for same gender romances.

A blog post written by Jeff Hickman (Executive producer of the game) states:

Same Gender Romance:  Any news on this front would be great… Answer: First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character. Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of.

Secondly, I want to reveal today that we are adding SGR with some NPCs on Makeb and do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future. More details to come!

I am glad to hear that this will be available in the game. In an ideal situation this would have been implemented at launch, but it is great news that they will be adding it in the future rather than ignoring it entirely.

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8 Responses to Star Wars: The Old Republic and Same Gender Romance

  1. Korva says:

    Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I utterly lost interest in this game in less than two months for a variety of reasons, but this doesn’t sound particularly inspiring. Buy the expansion, grind your way through the entire vanilla game, have a few generic chats with a stationary NPC that appears out of nowhere after your story is already over? Eh. I guess it’s still better than nothing for those who are still playing — provided the writing is actually decent — but I really wouldn’t expect much from it.

    I just wish I could have (an improved version of) the class stories as the #1 focus of a singleplayer experience instead of being tied into what in my opinion is a crappy stereotypical grindfest MMO with some equally crappy gender issues.

    • gunthera1 says:

      I see it as good news because they heard an outcry in the community and decided to develop something that is inclusive rather than just ignoring that desire from their fans. You are right that this step does not change any other issues or flaws with the game itself. But I see the fact that they are adding this post launch as good news for the industry as a whole. It is nice to see same gender romances as an option in more games.

  2. Canisa says:

    Hmmm. Afterthought, much? At launch they had, what, a dozen opposite-sex romances available? With both companion characters and NPCs (Plus a lot of options for casual sex with NPCs – but only if your PC is male; double standards, yay!) And now they’re saying there’s going to be a SGR NPC implemented as end-game content. Yeah, I’m not remotely impressed.

    • Ms. Sunlight says:

      To be fair, and admittedly I am a SWTOR player, there are plenty of opportunities for female PCs to have casual sex as part of the class stories too.

  3. TiaNadiezja says:

    Yeah… skipping it at launch was a problem. Then they did their really awful free-to-play conversion. Now they’re finally introducing it… as Kelly Chambers-style “partial” stories.

    Bioware, why are you so ridiculously inconsistent with treatment of LGBT characters? Mass Effect – Eh (LGBT option: hot genderless-but-female-looking alien). Dragon Age – Good (no gay LIs at all, but two bi ones, one for each gender). ME2 – Bad (Two LGBT options, both female, neither treated as a “real” romance mechanically). Dragon Age 2 – Great (Four romance options in main game, all available to protagonists of either sex). The Old Republic – Bad (No LGBT options at all, until a year after launch, when they are both paid content and “partial” options like those in ME2). ME3 – Pretty good (5 LGBT options, only two of which are members of your team, but two of which – Traynor and Cortez – are RIDICULOUSLY well-written, and enough to counterbalance the fact that another is the worst character in the series).

    Please, please, please, Bioware, start consistently being as LGBT friendly as DA2 and as high-quality as ME3. The second would take some work, but the first? Just stop cutting players off from options by gender. That’s all you have to do.

    • Alex says:

      They’re not consistent because “Bioware” consists of hundreds of people across three studios. There is a bit of overlap and sharing of resources, but each studio is more or less responsible for a different series. We’ve seen that there are people at Bioware who are aware of privilege and are interested in greater inclusivity. There are also probably people who work there who are not so interested in inclusivity! All we can really do is look at the end product; but I think it would help if we stopped thinking about and talking about a company as if it were a person rather than an enormous collection of people.

  4. Korva says:

    Bioware has not been a single “entity” for some time now, and this is one area where it really shows.

  5. Chelsea says:

    As a lapsed SWTOR player, I have to say that I find it a little amusing that Makeb will be the only planet in the galaxy to have same-gender romance options. Obviously Makeb is doing something right. Or is there something in the water? :)

    I think it would be interesting to incorporate that unintended dissonance with original content into the narrative: do the other regions of the galaxy keep it hidden for some reason? Do the residents of Makeb muse about the oddly limited interests found on other galactic planets?

    My trooper main didn’t pursue any romances when I was still playing, but I’m still interested in what’s available.

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