The feature was delayed while they worked on the free to play transition.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a year old now - let that sink in for a second. In that time, the MMO quickly rose to encompass 2 million subscribers but that population rapidly shrank. EA and BioWare switched the business model over to free-to-play in November 2012 with some negative reaction from those still playing, but there's no official word on whether all that work has been commercially successful or not. A new blogpost from executive producer Jeff Hickman today outlines the future of the space opera MMO with the normal updates about PVP and PVE content, but there's one very important feature planned which will make a lot of players very happy - one that's been promised since before the game even launched. Come this Spring, you will be able to have a romantic encounter with a character of the same sex. Maybe.
Hickman said the programming and design work necessary to implement this change actually took a lot more time than the team had anticipated and he feels bad about that. "I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game," he said. "I realize that we promised [same gender romances] 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," Hickman continued. "As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of."
Hickman revealed there are plans to have some same gender romances available on a particular planet (Makeb) in the short term - added with the big "digital expansion" Rise of the Hutt Cartel due out this Spring - and they will be pursuing expanding those options in the future. Great, so, the option will be there for only a select few NPCs, but the companions that level up with you and become your buddies won't ever be able to get past that "friend" level with you.
Now that the transition to free to play is over, it stands to reason the team will have more time to implement more same sex options throughout 2013. I don't know if that's enough incentive for players to suddenly go back to playing TOR, but it's nice that BioWare will finally be adding a role-playing feature many players have enjoyed in its other franchises like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. As a rule, the more roleplaying options the better.
Of course, being able to roleplay a truly sinister character was enough for some folks. I played my Sith Warrior as an evil psychopath - none of that "nice guy" Revan crap for me - so I don't know if having the option to get all lovey-dovey with a handsome bounty hunter would really make me want to spend money on the game. But if there was torture involved ... Never mind. I don't want to go down that path. (It leads to suffering.)
Source: The Old Republic