BioWare has bowed to pressure to introduce same-sex relationships into its free-to-play MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, but has confined it to a single planet.
As reported by PCGamesN, the planet Makeb has been introduced in the game’s latest expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, upon which is the only place in the galaxy where players can come across same-sex flirtation, romance or gay NPCs.
To access the planet, players must pay for the expansion pack, and they must also level up their character significantly to enter the high-level planet in the first place.
BioWare made the decision in the Old Republic’s initial development not to introduce same-sex romance or gay companions.
This means that, given the impressive amount of scripting and voiceover work involved in creating the game, it is now difficult for the developer to make changes to current characters, companions and romance interests, given the expensive cost of such an endeavour.
In a recent blog post, The Old Republic executive producer Jeff Hickman apologised to players who may have expected same gender romance in the game, and said that implementing this had been “a lot more work than we realised at the time”, with the studio instead focusing on making the game free-to-play.
“First of all, I want to apologise that this is taking so long to get in the game,” he said.
“I realise 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 realised 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.”