Next to the debacle surrounding the ending of Mass Effect 3, EA have to deal with a large slice of gamers who are outraged at the inclusion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender for those who are unaware) content in Mass Effect 3 and their other games too. This outrage led to users submitting 0/10 reviews on sites like Metacritic and campaigns forming to swamp EA in letters of idiocy.
Well EA have spoken out in response to all the letters, and it’s nice to see that they aren’t backing down on their stance. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Jeff Brown – EA’s VP of corporate communication -expressed the companies opinion on the “several thousands” of letters they received on the matter.
“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,” said Brown
The letters appear to be directed at EAs board of directors, the creative teams and really anybody who’s at a high level. Nearly every letter calls for a boycott to the company if they continue to produce games featuring LGBT content. Many letters also claim that EA were forced into including LGBT content by LGBT groups across the world – which in turn would be forced upon children, exposing them to LGBT themes.
Of course, you understand that that is all absolute phooey, partly because Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic (another game getting slack for it’s content) aren’t games for children to be playing. Also the LGBT situations are a choice that the player can opt out of if they don’t wish to pursue it, you’re an adult, nobody’s forcing you into doing anything. Some users also claim that EA are deleting posts against the inclusion of LGBT content, and saying EA are trying to skirt around from the issue – in response Brown had this to say:
“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,”
On the whole though, this whole debacle has increased support towards EA and their firm stance on the inclusion of LGBT content in their games. It shows a surprisingly, and refreshingly, progressive attitude in an industry that is largely conservative with it’s IPs. Speaking to GamesIndustry, Director of Communications at Human Rights Campaign, Michael Cole-Schwartz weighed in on the matter saying:
“those of us who work toward LGBT equality are pleased with the fair-minded stance EA’s taken. EA should be commended for their inclusive approach that reflects the diversity of our communities.”
HRC are also in the process of organising a petition to show EA that “the majority of fair-minded Americans who welcome their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family and friends,” support the inclusion of LGBT content – in hope it encourages more developers to follow suit.
“It’s important that companies know these protests represent a fringe interest,” Cole-Schwartz added.
How do you feel about the issue? Sound of in the forums and the comments below!