In an open letter on the game’s website, Star Wars: The Old Republic Executive Producer Jeff Hickman has announced that long awaited same-sex romance options will soon be available to players soon via game updates coming this spring. This should come as good news for the legions of TOR users who have lobbied for the addition of same-sex romances since before the game was even released.
Hickman first apologized for the year-long delay in providing confirmed information about the update, and explained the reasoning behind it:
First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised [Same Gender Romance] 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.
Though romances with in-game companion characters will remain delayed, the letter also revealed that the new planet of Makeb, which is part of the digital expansion Rise of the Hutt Cartel, will feature non-playable characters who are available for same-sex romantic relationships. He continued by saying developers also intend to add more same-sex romantic options in the future about which more details will be eventually revealed.
Fans of the TOR began requesting same-sex romantic options before the game had even officially launched, as developer Bioware already had a terrific track record in that department thanks to the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. Following additional press attention and outreach from organizations like GLAAD, the mounting outcry over the exclusion of such options eventually paid off, as developers announced that they would be added to the game post launch. Though it has a ways to go before matching the inclusiveness of those aforementioned games, this is a terrific first step on Bioware’s part towards recognizing the diversity of their user-base.