Your friends, your drama, your life, but no social commentary please, says Nintendo.
Tomodachi Life - "your friends, your drama, your life" - suffered from a bug back in 2013 that effectively enabled same sex marriage between miis, or at least the closest facsimile of it. Nintendo patched that out; "human relations become strange," as Nintendo described it, wasn't supposed to be on the menu, and besides it broke the game. The Western Tomodachi is due in June, and some fans have been calling for same sex mii marriage to be included. Nintendo has refused, saying it never intended to make any form of social commentary with its 3DS title.
"The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation," says Nintendo. "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 points out that same sex mii relationships weren't coded into the Japanese original, and its Western version is based on that same code.
Except avoiding the social commentary angle isn't as easy as Nintendo would like to believe. "It's more of an issue for this game because the characters are supposed to be a representation of your real life," says Tye Marini, one of the loudest voices calling for same sex Miiquality. "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."
Nintendo has said it will continue to listen and think about the feedback. Whether or not that's Nintendo being polite, or sincere, is an open question. Gay marriage isn't legal in Japan, and it's possible Nintendo's worried about the fallout back home if it opts in favor of Western miiquality. Sales of Tomodachi Life have been stellar in Japan so far, with 1.83 million copies sold.
"We're using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organization," says Nintendo.
Source: Associated Press / ABC