Responding to criticism on the web, Nintendo
issued a statement apologizing for the inability to engage in same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life
, a game available in Japan for the 3DS
handheld console. Outside of making headlines for limiting relationships to members of the opposite sex, the title isn't well known in the U.S., though it's scheduled to release in North America and Europe on June 6, 2014.
When it does, the same-sex relationship restriction will still apply. According to Nintendo, this is not something that it can fix in quick software update, but if the game sells well enough, it will offer a "more inclusive" experience in a follow-up title built from the ground-up. Tomodachi LIfe
itself is a sequel to a Nintendo DS title, also only available in Japan.
"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," Nintendo said in a statement. "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."
is a simulation title involving Mii characters living on an island. When criticism first arose over the inability to marry Miis of the same sex, Nintendo initially explained that it was a "playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation" and that the company wasn't trying to make "any form of social commentary."
Nintendo's apology and explanation comes just days after the company posted financial results
for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. Struggling with lower than expected Wii U and 3DS console sales, the company posted a net loss of 23.2 million yen, or around $229 million in U.S. currency.