This seems as good time as any to repost this so people know what has and hasn't been said by the actual Bioware employees.
A Time Line Of Events Pertaining To SGRA's
EA releases the Sims featuring same-gendered romance.
Bioware releases Knights of the old Republic which was initially slated to feature a same-gender romance with the companion Juhani. Although much of the Juhani arc was removed it remained possible to enter a romance with the character and to learn part of her personal history and the relationship she had with another Jedi who will later fall to the Darkside should Juhani be killed by the player character.
Karen Traviss confirms two Mandalorian characters to be a married homosexual couple. Link.
Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur are a gay couple. Homosexual men. Call it what you like, they're in a same-sex marriage.
She further elaborates;
The gay Mandos - like the rest of the Mandalorian cast - are in the series because I think the Star Wars galaxy, with millions of worlds and species, is probably more diverse than just a regular vanilla diet of straight, good-looking, able-bodied white folk with red hair and emerald eyes or whatever. So I decided it was time SW had its first gay characters, because it was dumb for such a rich universe like that to be so narrow and unreal.
George Lucas donates $50,000 to No on 8 ( a campaign in support of gay marriage). Lucasfilm donates the same amount of money to the same campaign. Link.
Bioware Community Manager Sean Dahlberg censors the use of homosexual labels and states that the terms do not exist in Star Wars. The statement is later retracted and the terms are uncensored. Link.
Bioware's Cory Butler responds to the question of SGRA's being in/out with a hurried no and a quick change of topic. Link.
Bioware Community Manager Stephen Reid announces that SGRA's will be a post launch feature:
Quote: Originally Posted by*StephenReid
Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options.
This is shortly followed with two posts from Reid explaining why it was decided that SW:TOR should allow same sex romances -
First of all, this is definitely not an audience that consists of a 'couple of people' and we're aware of that. We take this decision very seriously.
Second, it's very important to realize that this is just one of many, many content additions that will be going into the game post launch. The vast majority of our content will be of interest to the vast majority of our potential audience.
However, one of the amazing things about MMOs is that over time we can get to add things that are exciting and interesting to smaller audiences. Normally, that's not something that's addressed too far ahead of time. In this case, we felt the addition was warranted and should be addressed early.
There will be plenty of content for all to play and enjoy
We can't guarantee that a character you play at launch would have romance options 'unlocked' for an existing companion. It's something that will be taken into consideration when making design decisions. Not a promise it'll happen, but we'll take that feedback and relay it through to design.
We fully intend to do justice to the story in our storylines.*
As you may have heard, we take story very seriously - this included.
Lastly for those of you who seem concerned that you will be 'tricked' into any romance arc in the game - all romance choices are clearly marked. You will be aware you're making those choices as you make them.
Activists target SW:TOR's decision to include Same-Gendered Romance. Link.
Daniel Erickson elaborates on the inclusion of Same Sex Romances. (The specific mention of SGRA's begins at the twenty one minute mark.) Link.
Q: Any update on same gender romance?
Daniel Erickson: It is coming and it is coming with story updates. It is something that depends on the writers and we want to do right, and writers have a long lead time. We did not want to just change all the dialogue for the other gender. That is not writing, that is not story telling. This was cut originally because of budget and time issues. We have designs, we know what romance options we want to put in for this. It is coming when full story comes, and full story is coming this year. We are still on track.
Gabe Amatangelo Lead PvP Designer announces that he belives Same-Gendered Romance to be coming with Makeb. Link.
Um, the same-sex relationship stuff, there is I think it is in Makeb? In the new update, I think there is some stuff in there. But I don't know exactly. I'm not, not a writer. That's sort of the aspect that I am farthest from. But it really comes down to just getting it on the schedule and getting that content into the game
In response to an email from a former regular poster the ESRB confirms that same sex romances do not affect the rating that a game receives.
Thank you for contacting the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to write.
The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body that assigns age and content ratings for video games and mobile apps so parents can make informed choices as to which are suitable for their children and family. As part of its self-regulatory role for the video game industry, the ESRB also enforces industry-adopted advertising guidelines and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices among companies participating in its Privacy Online program.
We understand that sexual themes have the potential to be of concern to consumers, which is why all such content must be disclosed during the rating process. In specific regard to your question, ESRBs ratings criteria do not distinguish between heterosexual and same-sex content when it comes to addressing sexuality in games.
We hope this information is helpful, and thank you again for writing.
Entertainment Software Rating Board
Hal Hood Lead Writer supports Gabe Amatangelo's announcement by posting two updates on Twitter. The first update is later deleted.
(1 of 2) To all the folks who have been expressing interest in SGRs, here is the official word from Gabe Amatangelo:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tt49...tu.be&t=10m49s
(2 of 2) When I can share more information, I will let you know. Writing romances is one of my favorite things about working on SWTOR. :-)
Thanks for reading!