Nintendo, whose American headquarters are based in Redmond, has taken a lot of flak the past week for publically rejecting suggestions that gay marriage be included in its upcoming 3DS game "Tomodachi Life."
The game, a Sims style life-simulator that allows players to engage in relationships with one another via their Nintendo avatars (Mii's), faced criticism by a social media campaign called "Miiquality" when word came out gay marriage wasn't an in-game option. For a brief moment, the Japanese version of the game allowed male characters to marry due to a bug that was quickly patched by the company.
Nintendo responded to the controversy with a widely panned statement, claiming:
“Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life.’ The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. 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.”
Today, Nintendo came out and apologized for its previous statements, pledging that if a sequel is made, it will be "more inclusive":
We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.
A victory in video game marriage rights might seem trivial at first, but Miiquality's creator, Tye Marini, said to gaming news site Kotaku that he "believe[s] this movement could not only potentially influence Nintendo's stance on the issue and future game development, but the video game industry as a whole as well. If a mass audience Nintendo game like this supported same-sex relationships, it would be a huge step forward for the industry."