Fans of Mass Effect 3 were pretty excited when it was revealed they could finally have male Shepard do the deed with Garrus. However, some people weren't too ecstatic about the option as EA has reportedly received many, many letters from homophobic individuals threatening to boycott their games. The good news? EA chose to defend itself.
The publisher was sent thousands of letters and emails regarding the homosexual content in Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic, the latter of which did not have same-sex relationships at launch. These individuals want EA to remove said content from their games, with some even accusing them of being pressured into adding homosexual relationships.
EA isn't being swayed by these letters however, and refuses to censor any of their current or future games. As much as EA does partake in some anti-consumer actions, they really need to be commended for this; maybe they aren't the worst company in America after all, although this is very interesting positive PR the day after that mess...
Jeff Brown, EA's VP of corporate communications offers the common sense approach to how it's made very clear to consumers beforehand what content is included in the game:
"Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment."
In response to accusations that EA was deliberately deleting anti-gay posts from its forums, Brown explains that EA does not and will not accept hate speech of any kind on the forums, so it's no surprise EA deleted said comments.
"EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums."
What's most shocking about this situation is the stance taken by some of the letters that EA needs to "protect the children." Mass Effect 3, The Old Republic and Dragon Age 2, all of which feature homosexual sex scenes, are all rated M and therefore, are not for children. It should be clear to parents right off the bat that these games are not suitable for a young audience. That being said, it's not EA's job to police what content reaches the public - it's in the hands of parents to make sure what they deem unsuitable does not reach their kids, but does not mean enforcing their beliefs in the public sector.
Mass Effect 3 is available now, and it includes gay sex scenes. The best part is you don't have to participate in them if you don't want to! It's about choice!
Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyMole.
Source: GamesIndustry International