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Gay Marriage In 'Star Wars: The Old Republic' Video Game Restricted To Single 'Ghetto' Planet

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EA/Bioware

The makers of a Star Wars video game have been criticised for segregating same-sex couples on a "ghetto" planet.

EA and Bioware, who make the free-to-play online game Star Wars: The Old Republic, recently said they would introduce same-sex 'companions' into the game, after players campaigned for their inclusion.

The option to take part in a relationship with a member of your gender will arrive with the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion pack, which is due in the spring.

But the move has now been criticised, after it emerged those partnerships could only occur on one planet.

Campaigners have now labelled the planet - named Makeb - a "ghetto" for gay players. The paid-for update will not unlock so-called "SGRs" (same-gender relationships) in the rest of the game.

As noted by GamesIndustry.biz, Bioware and EA have a good record of introducing same-sex relationships into their games, including the high-profile Mass Effect series. That decision has actually earned them criticism from conservative, homophobic and religious groups.

Despite that, campaigners remain frustrated by the lack of full SGRs in The Old Republic - and those opposed to the move remained equally vehement.

One user on Bioware's forums said:

"That's not what SW is about.... I believe bioware delving into politics and social issues outside of the SW lore is outright crazy. This story wasn't created to be a tool for that."

Jeff Hickman, executive producer of The Old Republic, apologised that SGRs were taking so long to get into the game and said the developers "do intend on pursuing more SGR options in the future".

He said:

"First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised SGR to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character. Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of."