The last few days have been interesting for Star Wars The Old Republic.
With the release of it’s new expansion “Rise of the Hutt Cartel”, Bioware will be introducing a new planet, Makeb into the game. This new planet will feature NPCs that you can flirt with if they’re the same gender as your character.
Same gender relationships or SGR are something that people have been campaigning for ever since the game was first released. Bioware has said that it’s something they’re supportive of and something that they would like to do, however because all of the characters in SWTOR are fully voiced it will take a lot of work. Most of the development resources have been busy with transitioning the game to a F2P model and because of that, SGR with companions has yet to be implemented.
Many people are upset with Bioware and EA for putting all of these NPCs onto a single planet, saying that they are segregating the gay community. Surely this can’t be intentional?
With the new expansion, they’re including Makeb, a new planet that the Republic and Empire are fighting over. With the inclusion of this new planet, they saw the opportunity to include something for players asking for SGR, albeit it’s not the full romancing options for companions, it is a step in that direction. From a development standpoint you could argue that it’s much easier to add new NPCs to new areas instead of going back to older areas and inserting them. You could say that it’s better than not including it and leaving those players to wait even longer. Surely something is better than nothing?
Another problem arises in accessing this content on Makeb- you have to buy the expansion. The community has coined up the term “Pay to Gay” as they feel that Bioware is either targeting these players for money, or charging for content that players feel should have been in the game since the beginning. However, one must ask, is it surprising that a company running a F2P game would put content that players want into a new expansion that has a cost attached to it? Certainly not, but many are wondering if that’s the right decision.
What do you think about how Bioware and EA are handling this? Let your voice be heard in the comments below!