"Star Wars: The Old Republic" has always revolved around the choices you make with your character in the video game — joining the Rebels, embracing the Dark Side. But this year, BioWare will be introducing a new dynamic for players to explore — same-sex romance.
Starting this spring — and leading into further updates that will come later in 2013 — players will be able to romance more than just the opposite sex. They'll be able to flirt with characters of the same gender, and eventually get to the point that the flirting evolves into a deeper relationship.
It will begin with the launch of the "Rise of the Hutt Cartel" expansion pack, which will be released sometime in the next few months. With it, players can pay a visit to a new planet called Makeb, where they'll be able to flirt with non-player characters of the same sex and get missions that will help earn those characters' trust.Though their relationship won't go much deeper until the new update comes, players will be able to ask those characters to accompany them, as part of a plotline that deals with the vile gangster Hutt family.
The executive producer for " The Old Republic ," Jeff Hickman, explained why players won't immediately be able to sweep their dream guy — or girl — off their virtual feet with the release of the expansion. "I realize that we promised [same-sex relationships] to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character," he stated in an entry on the official BioWare blog. "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. As we have said in the past, allowing same-gender romance is something we are very supportive of."
This isn't the first time that BioWare has flirted with the idea of same-sex relationships. With its "Mass Effect" games, players are able to form deep relations not only with members of a similar sex, but also with alien species , through choices in dialogue and intercut love scenes. And BioWare doesn't look like it'll be the only game maker pioneering same-sex relationships in games, as Square Enix recently stated that it's considering allowing same-sex marriages for its forthcoming "Final Fantasy XIV" expansion, "A Realm Reborn."
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