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EA Speaks Out: "We Have Not Been Pressured By LGBT Groups"

It's such a sensitive situation.

EA has received "several thousand letters and emails" protesting the inclusion of same-sex relationships in their games; in other words, people are expressing their disapproval of this embracing of "LGBT" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender). Now, EA is trying to defend themselves.

You can read the full report over at GamesIndustry International; recently, games like Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic have come under fire for showing off intimate same-sex scenes. But the publisher has no intention of censoring itself. Said Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications:

"Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment."

The letters have been addressed to EA's executive team, creative bosses, and its board of directors, and many say they won't buy any EA titles in the future until that offensive content is gone. To add more spice to the mix, some of those letters accuse EA of bowing to pressure exerted by LGBT groups to include homosexual content. It has also been suggested that EA is purposely deleting posts against LGBT issues on the publisher's official forum. Added Brown:

"EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums."

We have absolutely no comment on the issue. Zero. Less than zero. If you'd like to discuss this civilly in the Comments section below or in the forums, please do. But be aware that any such discussions will be monitored...we're supposed to be keeping things all loosey-goosey around here, after all. ;)

Tags: ea, electronic arts, lgbt groups, same sex relationships

4/5/2012 9:08:21 PM Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (35 posts)

Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 10:02:38 PM

It's sad that this is even an issue, it really is.

Agree with this comment 22 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 6:49:33 AM

so true dude and wow u actually got thumbs down for that

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 10:22:07 PM

Bethesda's Skyrim includes same sex marriage, how does no one bag the out for that?

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 10:22:50 PM

I'm just trying to point out that they only include EA in this situation. Kinda sad considering it's just a video game.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 10:27:14 PM

people need to relax i dont understand how people are offended by this its only a video game. people need to wise up

Agree with this comment 9 up, 6 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 10:33:09 PM

Well good on EA, I mean that.
They're just getting with the times, why shouldn't they?
Besides, what would you possibly put in one of these "thousands of letters" anyway? "I don't want my child seeing sinners sinning blah blah"...because what, they might go all gay and stuff?
It's natural and EA is doing the right thing. End of story.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, April 05, 2012 @ 11:06:03 PM

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figue out that homosexuals have money and purchase video games.

EA is just being a business.

Agree with this comment 12 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 2:14:30 AM

It's more than that. Not *everything* is just business.
I'm heterosexual myself but I am very positive that the option for different kind of relationships are there in these games. I even think it's one of the great staples of the BioWare games.

It's one of many important small steps in the right direction towards respect and acceptance for the differences between us humans. And if games can contribute to a better understanding and less fear of the unknown then that contributes to gaming be taken more serious too.

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/6/2012 2:16:31 AM

Agree with this comment 13 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 6:51:41 AM

nice one beamboom! well said

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 12:08:06 AM

It'd be more the PR dept than accounts recommending this. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the G/L community is a small minority. Besides, they're more likely to be at the gym than playing video games.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:29:11 AM

Well its also a fact that there has only been 5 instances in the last 25 years where a person could play as a non-white female main character but if we look at it that way, their only minorities right? More likely to be in a gang or mowing someone's lawn. Minorities make up more than 50 percent of America's population. Your math might be a little bit off.

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Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 1:04:21 AM

If the same-sex relationships are not forced, why take offense? It's a choice that game developers/publishers provide in order to cater to the widest audience they can. If they're not sacrificing anything to achieve that, then why is there a need to protest?

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 2:18:32 AM

There are protests because far too many are far too eager to tell others how they should live their life. Then add religion to the mixture and you got a dangerous cocktail.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 4:15:30 AM

Indeed, Beamboom. And I'd rather keep mum about the subject of religion.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 6:54:17 AM

even if they were forced y would that matter? u mean straight relationships are often in video games and are "forced" to me homosexuality is up to people and times have changed in which it is accpeted more and y shouldnt it be

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 5:42:10 PM

I applaud BioWare and EA for that. I think including the LGBT people and giving them the choice to pursue an intimately emotional and/or physical relationship with someone of the same sex is a step forward. I think there are many gamers who are LGBT, and although they like many of the games/established franchises available, feel a little excluded. There simply are very few LGBT people portrayed (many who are, probably closeted anyways) and players are very rarely given the choice to be involved in anything of that nature. Nature, now one's sexuality, is it nature or nurture, there are many theories and that's probably what they are for now. However aren't there other species who partake in such relationships/activities. Intriguing no? In any case I'm not sure if anyone knows for certain everything that a person is composed of and why?

Getting back to the topic of this original post: choice. In video games being forced to play as whichever sex, gender (sex someone feels they are) and sexual orientation is often the case. Well typically it's a hetero male (sometimes maybe a squad with a female character) saving the world and/or girl scenario. I think there is definetly a demand for those games and they certainly have their respective fans and place. I know I like playing that from time to time. It's probably the type I mostly play and is also the type widely available. How often though, do you hear LGBT people protest or even complain that they people have to play as opposite themselves? If you think you don't know any, than I suppose never. I don't think many do complain. I have a transgender friend and while I'm sure she'd prefer much more choice when it comes to sex, gender and sexual orientation. I think there is yet to have a game featuring such a character in the story line, much less such a featured playable character, or even one playable part of the time. It seems though that some people who are not same-sex orientated, protest to the mere idea, and having to be forced as such would probably be a deal breaker. The dev and/or pub would almost definitely be notified by a very large group of people seemingly feeling outraged. It's just funny how it seems that many LGBT people will just accept that part of the game and play it, probably having a good time, regardless. I think it would also be nice to include more alternate female characters for females or males of any variety who wish to assume that temporary role.

Hopefully I offended no one here, as I genuinely did not mean to. Also hopefully many found it to be food for thought and it clearly expressed one person's point of view.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 6:39:50 PM

H8WL3R: I see nothing wrong with a well-expressed opinion such as the one you wrote. :)

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Monday, April 09, 2012 @ 2:52:55 PM

Thank you for the compliment ZettaiSeigi. :-)

My mindset is generally live and let live, so long as someone is not forced in sexual and/or violent and/or religious situations. I feel that things like race, religion, sex, gender and sexual orientation are things that are part of us, but one thing does not necessarily represent the whole picture you know? Having inclinations towards the opposite or same sex for example, to me, is not all of whom someone is. Same goes for other aspects of someone, I see it as a word or sentence of the composition, not the whole.

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Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 4:43:55 AM

The Christian lobby groups and Family Values people need to get it through their heads that video games (like movies, magazines, books and other forms of entertainment) are rated according to appropriate age and are even RESTRICTED if the content is overly violent, sexual or adult-natured!!!!

They keep acting like ALL video games are for children, and until dumb parents and old politicians acknowledge games as being a highly varied product across many age groups and genres, we will continue to see idiotic and downright incorrect accusations thrown at mature and even high quality adult games.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 5:41:13 AM

as the saying goes dammed if you do dammed if you dont!
EA get bombarded for not having same sex options in their games.
so they add it, so they get bombarded for having it.
people seriously need to grow the f*ck up and accept peoples choices!
just because you dont agree with it does not mean you have to force people into your beliefs.
this is exactly the reason why i became atheist.
a ex good family friend of ours were so bigotry and high and mighty and set in their religious beliefs anyone who did not agree with them they did not want to know and because of that they totally put people off it!
as i said before people need to grow the f*ck up and respect peoples choices!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 7:36:02 AM

all i gotta say is good job EA, there are always going to be people that dont agreee with this kind of thing

Agree with this comment 4 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 8:19:17 AM

People are shallow minded these days. It's a choice within the game. They'd have a point if it was forced upon the player but it isn't. Something tells me that some parents are letting their kids play the games. In which their kids shouldn't be playing in the first place.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 8:54:02 AM

I'm glad I don't make the choices in ME games to ever see gay crap like that (that picture is SO gay)

I sort of see ME like the Internet. There's a ton of weird and crazy crap out there but you usually always have the choice to go where you want to go. I, for one, won't choose to see Kaiden butt naked =p

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Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 10:00:37 AM

As a member of the LGBT community as well as an avid gamer it means the world to me that EA is defending their stance even though I wished they didn't have to. Thanks EA! Faith in the video game industry +1000!

Agree with this comment 12 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 10:46:07 AM

Send em an e-mail! They need the positive feedback.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 10:44:11 AM

The only thing I see wrong on that subject is that they are only getting letters of complaints but 90% of the gamers do not mind the inclusion of the *option* of same sex relationships. I mean it's not like they force you to anything... It's a choice.

So we should send them letters of *approval* on their awesome freedom of choice unbiased by the majority. :D

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 4/6/2012 10:44:59 AM

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Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 11:05:38 AM

Well of course they haven't, one example is on how EA have published the Sims games for over a decade where engaging in homosexual activity, including same-sex marriage is possible. It's funny on how such responses make it seem like they purposely added such content in their games overnight. :P

Last edited by VampDeLeon on 4/6/2012 11:07:05 AM

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Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 11:54:56 AM

If it's an option and I don't HAVE to put up with it, I don't have a problem with it being in the game... If it's written into the story and there's nothing you can do to get away from it, THAT'S where I'd have the problem.

Last edited by King_Krollen on 4/6/2012 11:55:40 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 11:58:49 AM

Well it's not like anyone forces to to have a same sex relationship in any game, so I suppose the complaints to EA are because some people want to control how other people play a game. That's absurd. I happen to know a large amount of gamers prefer to play as female characters, and with a preference for the female gender would have their character naturally hook up with a female. Not a big statement towards LBGT rights, well not anymore then watching girl on girl softcore on Cinemax.

It's a non-issue, it's simpler to allow same sex relationships in making a game then it is to make it heterosexual only. That is when it comes to roleplaying games like ME or The Sims. Because honestly the gender of a videogame character is purely sprite and maybe audio file. At the heart of it we're talking 1101101101 in a sex scene with 1100110110.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 12:34:04 PM

I'm also a member of the LGBT community....and EA like a few other developers are trying to bring the 'real' world view into their games. I find it absurd that these so called 'family values' groups want it removed...I mean I get why they want to, but to do so lowers and dumbs' down the game(s). Bravo to EA and Bethesda, etc. for realizing that their games can and should reflect much of what makes us different.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 3:50:42 PM

Wait, I'm confused ;) seriously, who's mad at who? Gays....Straights? Actually, does it really matter? the game is still a great game, is it not? I mean who really cares if you are a man, woman, Catholic, Baptist, Canadian, Asian, Left handed, no handed (that might be a problem), Redheaded, one eyed, 12 fingered, poor, work at Whole Foods, or eat crab's a game....and games are for fun. Come on people, can't we all just play?

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Friday, April 06, 2012 @ 3:58:00 PM

I have an idea...

Lets ban everything that anyone might not like. This way no one is exposed to something that someone out there feels is bad.

Seriously, pathetic. It's not like EA made a Barney or Sponge Bob game where the blue dinosaur makes his money at the Blue Oyster or the yellow sponge stands on a street corner asking for "lollipops".

Hey parents! Why don't you do your research and censor your kids yourselves! Stop trying to get corporations and the government to do your job!

Last edited by Nynja on 4/6/2012 3:59:14 PM

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Saturday, April 07, 2012 @ 4:19:32 AM

I guess the ad bot recognizes the "LGBT" in the title of the article because there's an ad for an "international gay & lesbian event" featuring a shirtless dude on this page.

My only complaint about the same-sex options in EA games is that my FemShep can't romance Miranda. Though, thanks to PC mods, I can at least watch the Youtube videos.

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Sunday, April 08, 2012 @ 4:53:27 PM


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Wednesday, April 11, 2012 @ 11:12:06 AM

Ya know, the Sims came out in 2000 and you could be gay in the Sims. That has never changed and you don't hear about anyone harassing Maxis. Before that there was Fear Effect. I'm glad that EA isn't backing down. It is hard enough growing up as a gay kid knowing the world already hates you before they even know you and a little support is like a godsend. More companies need to be like EA. To say that LGBT people make up a tiny percent of the gaming population would be untrue. I'm gay, most of my friends are gay, I work at a gamestop and we have many gay customers. All of these people I would classify as gamers and consumers. Its about time we started getting included because I'm not gonna lie, it effects the way I make my purchases. More power to EA and thumbs up for some representation! For those of you who are just going down the comment line thumbs downing every comment that supports EA's decision, think about a world where all the characters in your video games and movies and all the people holding hands in the grocery store and walking down the isle were gay. How alone would you feel then?

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