On Tuesday, Nintendo said that it would not give into the pressure to add same-sex relationships to the U.S. version of its life-simulator series, "Tomodachi," which lets characters date, fall in love and get married.
Now, the video-game maker has said it's sorry for offending LGBT customers, but that it's still not going to change a thing about the new game, even though the game hasn't even come out yet. It's currently slated for a June release.
The short, 114-word sorry note (posted to Nintendo's website) starts out fine...
We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life.
...before saying there's nothing the company can do about adding gay relationships to the Nintendo 3DS game now.
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.
The last half of the apology includes a pledge to make any future version of Tomodachi "more inclusive," which presumably means not ostracize gay couples.
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.
Characters in the life simulator can simulate marriage and married life. But the game only allowed those relationships for heterosexual couples.
Controversy surrounding the game first erupted in April, when Tye Marini, a gay 23-year-old Nintendo fan from Arizona, started an online campaign to bring marriage equality to the U.S. version of "Tomodachi Life."
"Not being able to date and marry the gender that I'm attracted to in real life really takes all of the emersion and fun out of the game," Marini argues in the video below.
Nintendo's apology note is more tactful than its last statement on the controversy, in which the company said that it "never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of 'Tomodachi Life.'" But other companies may have held the launch of a game that was considered insensitive, until they rejiggered it to include gay marriage. Is it really enough to say you will next time?