Free-to-play SW:TOR switch postponed same-sex options
Executive producer apologizes for the wait, says features were pushed back to focus on change in business model
BioWare confirmed same-sex romance options would be included in Star Wars: The Old Republic before its late 2011 launch, but they have yet to appear in the game. The developer hasn't forgotten its pledge, as the MMORPG's executive producer Jeff Hickman addressed the issue in his latest State of the Game blog.
"First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game," Hickman said. "I realize that we promised [same-gender romances] 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."
Hickman went on to confirm that same-gender romances with some non-player characters would be rolled out in the game on the planet Makeb, with further options following in the future. Makeb will be the focal point of the game's upcoming expansion, Rise of the Hutt Cartel. The first major add-on to The Old Republic, Rise of the Hutt Cartel is slated for a spring release.
Star Wars: The Old Republic launched as a subscription-based game and boasted 1.7 million subscribers shortly after release. However, player retention proved to be a challenge, and by July, publisher Electronic Arts announced that the game was being converted to a free-to-play model for players up to level 50.