Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Final Fantasy XIV may consider gay marriage when it relaunches

Now that Final Fantasy XIV is on hiatus for a few months, the producers over at Square Enix have some time to tackle the tough issues facing the MMORPG.  Namely, whether they will allow characters of the same sex to get virtually married in their virtual world.

In a Letters From The Producers question and answer segment, FFXIV's director and producer Naoki Yoshida had the following to say about the prospects of samesex marriage in Squeenix's latest MMO:

"As for same-sex marriage, this is an extremely controversial topic that has been under discussion in the MMO world for the past few years... First we would like to start out with opposite-sex marriage, and then consider the feedback from our players in order to make a careful decision. I can’t say whether or not it will be possible at this point in time. I’d like to keep dialog open with our players as we deliberate the matter."

While extremely disappointing for gay and lesbian gamers (or for heterosexual gamers who both rolled up a pair of male or female characters), this isn't entirely too surprising given Japan's rather conservative stance on gay marriage.

At least FFXI allows for Interracial marriage.  I suppose that counts as progressive...

Additionally, as Yoshida intimated, the lack of gay marriage options isn't exactly new to FFXIV.  In fact, it carries over from Final Fantasy XI (and pretty much every other MMO that allows for character marriage) which always seemed a bit hypocritical.  In a world where you play as a sentient lawn gnome samurai, a catgirl paladina hulking behemoth of a white mage, or an elven elvaan dancing girl, it's rather odd that gay relationships are somehow too far outside the realm of reality to consider.

Sadly, gay marriages aren't the only marriages that Final Fantasy XI discriminated against. Despite the opportunity to create some truly wonderful memories, FFXI apparently does not allow their GMs to marry either...

Jokes aside, it would be rather disappointing if Yoshida and Co. decide to stick with the prohibition against gay marriage in FFXIV given everything they've invested in the MMO to make it different from every other game on the market.

Yes, it will be rather disappointing, predictable, and likely indeed.