Electronic Arts may have yielded to complaints over the ending to BioWare’s Mass Effect 3, but the publisher is standing fast against the uproar from other groups over the potential for gay characters in the studio’s latest titles.
EA VP of corporate communications Jeff Brown confirmed for GamesIndustry International that the publisher has received thousands of letters and e-mails from people angry about the inclusion of gay romance options in Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The letters suggested that EA had been pressured by pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) groups to include the options, and that dissenting opinions were being silenced in the publisher’s forums. Brown denied the former accusation, and responded to the latter by saying EA doesn’t tolerate hate speech in its forums.
“Every one of EA’s games includes ESRB content descriptors so it’s hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content,” Brown told the site. “This isn’t about protecting children, it’s about political harassment.”
Both the Family Research Council and Florida Family Association took aim specifically at Star Wars: The Old Republic in recent months. The FRC decried children being exposed to a “Star Warped way of thinking,” while the FFA lamented that children “who never thought any way but heterosexual” would be exposed to LGBT options, and even those who didn’t take those options “would be forced to deal with” the LGBT characters of other players.