Mass Effect: Andromeda gay

‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ Includes Same-Sex Romances, So Why Are Gaymers Still Upset?

On Tuesday, BioWare and Electronic Arts released Mass Effect: Andromeda, an action role-playing video game that lets players pursue optional same-sex romances. Gaymers have complained that the same-sex romance scenes aren’t nearly as explicit as the heterosexual ones, possible evidence of the game developers’ discomfort with gay and bisexual sex.

In the game, players control a male or female military recruit as they explore a new human habitat within the Andromeda Galaxy in the year 2185. Players can romance a variety of men, women and aliens — in fact, if you’re curious, you can check out all of the game’s dating and lovemaking scenes for yourself (though some are definitely NSFW).

While the female character gets three men and four women to seduce — she can become “companions” with some of them as well — the male character only gets five women and two men to seduce, and he cannot become companions with either of the men. Furthermore, none of his same-sex sex scenes feature any nudity while some of the heterosexual ones do.

The game also awards players with a “Matchmaker” achievement for romancing three of the game’s characters. That means that in order to complete all the game’s achievements, the male character must seduce a female — he can’t collect all of the game’s achievements just by being gay. While one could see this as a way to celebrate bisexuality (yay!), it’s an eyebrow-raising feature from a game developer who has a good record of including LGBTQ characters into their work.

Some of Bioware’s previous Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles allowed players to make their characters gay, lesbian, bisexual, polyamorous or asexual. On the plus side though, Mass Effect: Andromeda does feature a transgender character named Hainly Abrams, though she’s non playable and even she’s imperfect — for some reason, she mentions her deadname (the original name her parents gave her) early on into her introduction, something real-life trans people rarely ever do.

  • Shadow

    While the game has two romance scenes, they’re extremely sub par in comparison to all other love interests in the game. The two gay male options are literally just a couple of side-NPCs, one of whom doesn’t even count towards the LI trophy. On top of this, the romance scenes for these two gay characters is very low quality IMO. As they only show some kissing, with the scene quickly fading to black. While straight/lesbian scenes virtually show full on nudity, much longer scenes, etc.

    On top of this, there are no gay/bi male squad mates to romance. Which in itself is a slap in the face, as squad mates get a great deal more development of personality, depth, history, dialogue, etc. They also go along with you on missions, thus present option of including references, etc during missions to their relationship.

    So it just feels like Bioware really took a major step back with including gay male LI options. More so when they had done a magnificent job with Dragon Age: Inquisition in including Dorian and Iron Bull as love interest options.

    It’s more frustrating with how Bioware’s PR feels like they had been leading us on, saying that we’ve got great romance options, we’re very happy with everything, etc. When, now that the game is fully released, it’s highly evident that the two gay male options are literally just tokens. A couple NPCs so they can say, ‘Hey, we’ve got gay options for you!’.

    If you judge the romances by minute count, the two gay options generally count up to around 13 minutes total. While a single straight/lesbian romance will get around 40-50 minutes, if not longer.

    As a gaymer, this feels like a major let down, as I’d been looking forward to playing an actual gay character as representative of who I am. Instead, we’re slapped in the face with an absolute shoddy offering. So now I’ll have to play as a female Ryder to have any chance of an interesting, in-depth romance with a male character.

    I can only hope Bioware will learn from their screw up here and do a much better job in the next Mass Effect game. Which we’ll have to wait 4-5 years (Again.) to see if they managed to learn, or if they just repeat their same mistakes. With their screw up this time feeling all the more frustrating with the fact that ME: Andromeda is a completely new slate. There’s literally no reason they couldn’t have done a much, much better job with putting together the gay male love interests.

  • Chris Blaue

    I would want a romance patch. I loved to have Kaidan at my side in the field (even if it took 3 games to make him finally bisexual as planned!! You’re totally right about the thrown in npc gays. I feel aswell slapped in the face aswell and i’m regretting to have bought that game. You pretty much summed up perfectly what the gay romance let down is about.

  • Baldur Ragnarok

    I was going to complain because all the women Ive encountered thus far are kind of tomboy-kid sisterish and not romantically appealing at all. The gay community is complaining that despite being only ~5% of the fanbase there should be what, 50% gay romance options?

  • Chris Blaue

    Not complaining about the quantity, more about the quality. Compared to Lesbian and Straight relationships there is no character-and-relationship development.

  • WillMoor

    Guess what? Gay and Bi men are part of the normal population of this damned world and in 2017 I would think people would get the picture. We are far more numerous than you think, too. That being said, why the hell does your opinion about how many of us are part of the fan base have to do with it? And as Chris said, its not about wanting 50% of the options. Its about wanting the ones we do have not sucking. How can that POSSIBLY be a problem for you, for God’s sale?

  • J. R. Tomlin

    In case you are ignorant of the fact — it appears you are — a lot of straights to the gay/lesbian romances. And if YOU don’t do them, what skin is it off your nose if they available (AND decently done) to other people?

  • WillMoor

    They pulled this ALL the way back when they made Jade Empire and decided to “experiment” with a same sex male romance, making Sky bisexual. The male/male aspect of the Sky romance was definitely not as detailed as the female/male aspect but it was still OK I guess. However, when it came time for the great romantic kiss scene, you see their faces closing in and it blacks out before they actually kiss. Yet with the straight romances AND the lesbian romance, the kiss completes before anything blacks out. I remember a lot of people complained then too. Back then BioWare’s excuse was time constraints. They then used that same excuse for why same sex male options weren’t present in ME:1 or ME:2. Concerning Jade Empire, don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that they decided to do that, offer male/male romance but I just can’t believe that here it is, 12 years later and they are puling the same crap they did with the male/male romance in Jade Empire. And its a head scratcher for me, I must admit.

  • WillMoor

    The kisses in ME:3 are strategically blocked because I know the lip
    animations weren’t there, but they don’t hide the same sex male kisses
    in Dragon Age Inquisition or the same sex male love making in Dragon Age
    Origins. So I am not entirely sure why they are walking things back
    with ME: Andromeda. I honestly looked at DA:I and ME:3 and thought that
    was now the standard of how things would be from now on. Clearly I was
    wrong. And now that this has happened and I look back on the old “Time
    constraints” excuse with Jade Empire and ME:1 and ME:2 and how we were supposed to find that perfectly
    reasonable…it just goes to show how recently it was still just taken
    for granted that gay men should be OK with being considered expendable
    and throw away. Now I feel like we are at that point again. Is it
    because David Gaider left BioWare? I feel like he helped watch gay gamer’s
    backs when he was there. But there have GOT to still be LGBT members of BioWare’s current team. Are they not saying anything? Were the developers who worked on the sex scene animations super uncomfortable with male/male content? If so, why didn’t they at least temporarily hire somebody that could be bleeping professional about it to work on same sex scenes? I feel very frustrated over this.

  • UchihaChild

    Wait one effing minute. We still have an extremely white washed gaming industry, where you can have more Alien squadmates, then culturely diverse humans, ya know like not having to make a Black, Asian, or Latino character that sounds extremely Cacassian(at least shepards military attitude was much more culturely grounded then the vey modernized Ryder), but hey let’s save the real discrimination for another day like never. Anyways let’s get back to the topic at hand, sure their are plenty of gay/lesbian people in retrospect, but the chance of having six squamatea, 3 which are aliens, and one of them being exclusively gay, is what 5-10% at best, and those odds are high. So given that we have what 10 ppl(if that) on our ship and 2 of them are gay/lesbian, is a great achievenment. Yet here we have people complaining. Well just so you can step back from your bias self for a second, let me explain to you what I have as a straight black male for romance. A white women, a blue women, and turian that looks likes a dinosaur, yet not one or you( culturally progressive people are crying about that). Yet you want to complain that the romance scenes are lame…excuse me what are you expecting to see? A dick? Butt sex? A blow job? Get real. You’re not progressive, you’re arrogant and selfish. With only six squad mates and only 3 being human including yourself, and one being a female only species, and two other females, making a total of 2 males besides yourself, someone was going to be unlucky. It’s not that hard to figure out folks! The only way they could of made this fair, would be to make Liam(the only black man on the ship) a male only romance option, leaving straight women with NO human male romance options. But I bet yal wanted that didn’t you? Being as selfish and self rituous as you are.

  • epenthesis

    You’re correct; you’ve been let down by the romance options too.

    But you have no cause to be angry at the rest of us. Gays are getting attention here because we’re advocating for ourselves in large numbers; I haven’t seen many complaints about the racial balance among love interests. (Unless you count guys angry that one of their two options in DAI was Josephine.) Do you expect white people, gay or straight, to anticipate your desires and speak preemptively on your behalf when we have needs of our own that aren’t being met? Or is this just the argument you’re using to attack us because you don’t want any resources to go toward making gay people happy?

    And “someone was bound to be unlucky” somehow wasn’t the case for DA1-3 or ME3. And especially shouldn’t be the case when devs are falling all over themselves to talk about how many romantic options everyone would have.

  • epenthesis

    5% looks tiny until you apply it to the size of the audience. There are thousands of us; plenty of people are going to see this content and comment on how skimpy it is.

  • epenthesis

    I’m complaining about the quantity too. There was no need whatsoever to require three romances for the Matchmaker achievement; they raised it from one even though they knew they weren’t giving us three. That’s thoughtless at best and unfeeling at worst.

  • UchihaChild

    My point was clear. In Dragon Age Inquistion you have 9 squad mates, so making one them a male to male only romance is much easier then making 1 of 6. Again for a male to male, you only have an option of Drax, Liam, or Jaal. Drax can’t be romanced, so that’s Liam and Jaal. If you make Liam the only male to male romance, then female characters have ZERO, human romance options, leaving them with aliens, whom besides asairi aren’t physically attracting to a lot people. So you tell me how they were going to make a male to male romance option, besides actually creating a character solely for a gay romance option. Not to mention homosexuality is greatly exaggerated in this game(in terms of the number of gay/lesbian to straight people ratio). The world isn’t 50 percent hetoral and 50 percent Bi/Same sex. Just go to a typical work place and look at the number of staff, and compare the numbers to gay to straight, and you’ll see that most humans are straight. But to appease to the demands of people, BioWare goes out its way to make gay/lesbian characters, including characters you meet who pronounce being gay, just to show hey we have gay people in this game. That should be hugely appreciated. I wish diversity in culture and race, again a SERIOUS issue for ALL races, including whites, got the attention gay and lesbian communities get, but it’s not popular so no one cares.

    But the problem is people like yourself who only see “you’re desires,”. You want, no need the straight community to stand with you in these very dark times for the LGBT community in video games, but you won’t lift a finger for issues that actually do hurt people. Because honestly how hurt are you that you don’t get more fleshed out gay romance options? Truly think about that question. Note you can romance a male, and he is part of your ship, you just can’t take him on missions with you, so tell me how hurt are you truly, versus just complaining? Because as a black man in 2017, I’m still sitting on the back of the bus in representation in video games, tv, and movies. An after thought to all of you so called progressives. Look I’m sure we will get a DLC for more squad mates, I’m actually willing to bet on it, hence we only have 6 now, and a lot of people are still in cryo stasis pods. And I’m sure because it’s a hot topic theses days, at least one will be a male only romance. But I bet none will be an attractive black women, who isn’t hindered with stereotypes that make her unlikable. The reason this angers me, is because it’s littered with hypocrisy. People aren’t crying about how white wash your main character is, despite your ability to make him another race through the creative character, people are crying about the romance scenes. Just effing wow.

  • epenthesis

    Again: we’re not going to help you fight your battles if you’re not already fighting them. We’re starting with our own issue, that the options we were given were fewer, briefer, and more sloppily executed than others. I’ll get on the “why no minority women as squadmates” bandwagon as soon as I see one.

    (The answer, btw, is the same for both of us: Bioware is desperate to please its core audience, which in addition to being straight and male is primarily white. So black men sometimes show up as options for people playing female or gay characters, since they need to put diversity in the cast somewhere, but for straight male characters? “Here, choose from these white women and sexy aliens. That’s all you guys want, right?”)

  • UchihaChild

    First of all you still haven’t addressed my point about the number of squad mates and the incredible difficulty of making everyone happy. As a male I have the choice of 1 straight female, 1 blue alien, and 1 alien that looks like a dinosaur…yeah we got plenty of options. Again I’ll say this, their are 6 squad mates! Not 8, not 10. 6 squad mates on a much smaller ship. Their is a reason for that, and if you actually cared about the game, you’d see that.

    You say you won’t stand up for my social issues, yet here you are looking for someone to stand up for yours. That’s the whole point of this article. A cry for someone to pay attention(mostly the straight community, because who else can fix this) to the issues of gay mass effect fans. But again, you fail to see just how much attention your community has gotten. Your Ryder can be gay. In fact your Ryder can sleep with multiple men in the same story. But will that hire new voice actors for female and male Ryder, so that you’re Ryder can have a little bit more of a cultural connection?? Hell no. Why? Because the main two versions of the Ryders are white, and that’s not going to change. Just like in all of the dragon ages and previous Mass Effects, and every other game. So while billions have to once again accept being okay pushed aside, simply because their not the “dominant race,” you want to sit and complain that your sex scene aren’t long enough! Gil has much more fleshed moments then any non squad member we’ve ever gotten, yet here you all are complaining. That’s not me asking for you to care for “my issues,” that’s me asking for you to see how utterly selfish and arrogant that is of you. Take a step back for a secon please and see that crying about a sex scene, when we have so many other social issues in the gaming industry is like crying because someone got your order wrong, while telling the bum who is starving, who doesn’t get to eat at all, to sit down and wait his turn to complain. Hypocrisy!

  • epenthesis

    It would have been downright easy to make us happy–make a squad member bi and write additional scenes for the other two romances. (They don’t even have to be sex scenes; that’s just one area among many [number of options, length of storylines, prominence of characters, uniqueness of design] where we got outright less than the straight romances did. “Gil is fleshed out” is bullshit and don’t pretend otherwise.) No new characters needed. Asking for multiple racial options is not unreasonable but would be comparatively more of a commitment on a studio’s part.

    And I’m sorry, but you’re essentially scolding us for hypocrisy for advocating for our own needs rather than yours, as though it was a zero-sum choice and we’re ignoring a significant active effort to protest the racial balance of love interests. How about you take care of your own house before you try to tear ours down? We’ll gladly join in when you demand better representation, but we aren’t going to do it before you do.

    We were given dramatically less than other people, and we’re angry at Bioware about that. If you weren’t given enough, be angry at Bioware. You have no reason to be angry at us, other than that you would prefer for us to get less.

  • UchihaChild

    The hypocrisy is that you’re complaining for something, while ignoring other things(much more important things), simply because you dont feel it applies to you. It does apply to you, despite your priotirties, “injustice to some, is injustice to all,” MLK said that. You don’t have an injustice, because you can romance multiple gay character, and despite your complaints, Gil is very flushed out. I’ve hung out with him several times, and if I desired my relationship with him could be very close. He even has missions that are directly meant for getting closer to him. I’ve gotten pretty far in the game, and the only character I could say that gives you slightly more content in character development then any other, is PeeBee(who is Bi btw), and it’s clear that she is taking up the Liara role, of being the main female protagnist if they make future games with this crew. Cora isn’t that flushed out, nor is Vetra(clearly the least flushed out). So where is your injustice? And if you look at the history of BioWare, the LGBT community has been very well taken care of. But has BioWare taken care of other racial dimographics? Has BioWare ever made the main character of a game not white? No, and will they? No. Sorry I’m calling you out on, but self reflecting is due here, whether you choose too or not, and simply saying that it’s not my issue, so I’m not considering it, shouldn’t be an acceptable answer for yourself. Give it time, and you’ll have more gay options, just like I’ll have more female options…as of now, their’s not many options period, for anyone.

  • epenthesis

    You don’t seem to understand what hypocrisy is. It would be hypocritical of us to demand better gay representation and oppose better black representation, or deny that it was a problem, or ignore people looking for support as they ask Bioware for better treatment for themselves. But none of that is happening–we’re asking for what we want, which has nothing to do with you. If you think your problem is a greater priority, that’s fine; if there were to be a public discussion on that topic, many people might agree. But it’s just weird to slam us for complaining about an issue that affects us just because there are other people who also don’t have it great. By that logic the ASPCA should close up shop since there are still neglected human children in the world.

    People have run the numbers on the love scenes, btw. Cora has about half an hour total. Gil and Reyes have about fifteen minutes combined. That’s what we’re talking about when we say they aren’t fleshed out–they’re shorter, less detailed, less plot-central, and were just given much less attention overall. Don’t try to convince me that we don’t have a legitimate complaint.

    Also: (1) you can make a player character of any race, even if there’s a white guy on the box, and (2) bisexual women are favored because some straight men are into that, not out of a desire to support lesbian players; Peebee certainly doesn’t do gay male players any good, and straight female players are also relatively neglected.

  • UchihaChild

    ASPCA is serving an injustice, their is no injustice being done here. That’s been my point from start of my rant. You can have a gay ryder, with multiple options, with a crew member, who has a committed romance option, who has side quest. Now if you didn’t have gay romance options at all, I would understand, as I supportted their being gay romance options, even at the expensive having guys(in game) hitting on my straight character. I never wanted to be hit on by male characters, as it’s not something I personally indulge in my personaly life, but I understood the injustice in people not having the option too, because we want to see all walks of life get notorioty as best we can in a video game. What this article is complaining about, is not liking the options you’re given, and exagerating them to mean you’re getting treated unfairly. My points about diversity in cultures, is to show you their are wayyyy bigger issues in this game, when it comes to diversity that should be looked at, yet all people can do is point out petty things like the length of the romance scenes. Because the fact is this, you’d be right here typing away even if Gil had the longest romance scene…why? Because you don’t like the character, which is different then not having options. Dragon Age Inquisition had some of the most horrible male to female options, and I didn’t hear a peep. Despite the majority of the players being hetoral sexual males, we got the short end of the stick. Is that right to you?

    1. Yes you can change the color and look of your character, but both male and female Ryder voice acting is meant to sound like two American Cacassian Male and Female. Shepard voice actor sounded much more grounded, mainly because they made a point to make him act, and talk like a veteran soldier, so it was much easier to imagine your character looking like he talks, no matter the race. 2 Does it matter why they make bi or straight characters, it’s all for the sales. When is the last time you had a fat, curvy thick, or ugly squad mates? I’m sure Liam was thrown into the mix sot that they wouldn’t be accused of having zero non white squad mates, like they done in the past. Half an hour of love scenes?? Each love scene is like 2 mins at best. What is all being considered romance? Flirting dialog is not romance, and often sounds out of place for everyone.

    Poor Gil, I hope he never finds out how many men hate him.

  • epenthesis

    I like Gil fine; there’s no need for you to white-knight him. I would have liked to see *more* of him.

    Also, DAI had “horrible” M/F options? Everybody except straight women had two options there. You may not have liked yours, but that’s not the same as being treated unfairly. In fact, while I liked Dorian and Bull I would never have wanted to romance them if I had had other choices, but I didn’t complain about it because they’d done their best to make as many people happy as possible.

    I don’t get the sense that the MEA devs cared whether I was happy with what I got or not. Well, I’m letting them know. I don’t think I need to hear any more about why you don’t wish me luck in this, thanks.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    This lgbtq started becoming a joke.

    Today, a lesbian will be upset and criticize a straight woman, because … she should also be lesbian.. because being lesbian is cool.
    *so, what, suzy, you tell me you married that guy, 2 years ago? Why did you do that? You should really try to eat a pu ssy, you you love it, i promise you*

    Or a gay guy, that will insult a straight guy because *hey, paul, why are you dating that flat skinny girl ? You should really take a dik up your S, i promise you will love it *

    This nonsense became like the jehovah witnesses: you tell them you are a Christian, you love Jesus, you love going to the church, you love praying God… you repeat that 20 times… but the jehovah guys will STILL try to convince you to quit being Christian and become a jehovah witness, because it’s better, it’s great, etc etc.
    Even you tell them ‘sorry, i don’t understand your language’, they will come back a few days later, with a guy that speaks your language!

    Now this lgbtq thing just reached all limits. Non happy of telling the world they are (put an l, g,b,t or q) here, they want the whole planet to become like them. Because they are perfectly normal, and as normal people, we should take them as models !

    Of course, 2 gay guys will want to adopt a poor children, specially, a boy, a boy that will grow up seeing boners, fluids, kisses, and everything else, in front of him… will introduce the other boys… totally conditioning the little boy, so when he becomes older, he too eats diks. Never a ‘mom’ at home, only a few lesbs here and there.. not a single women seen since the age of 2 until 16. As a result of seeing his dad and …the momdad…the kid will believe it is normal for a guy to not have kids, not marry a girl, and instead, meet guys and suk diks.

    Of course, the whole lgbtq clan will applaud those 2 dads, and his boy, that also became a gay. Bravo.

    So yeah, now, everything must be lgbtq related. No more holiwood movies without 2 girls or 2 guys kissing and having sex. No more tv ads where a guy meets his soul mate woman. No, it must feature 2 gays as well.

    The whole planet must now become gay.

    The other day, a 14 yo friend’s son was playing a game. Suddenly, there was a scene where we could see a guy getting fked from behind, in another room. Being used to the ‘normal’ standard, logical, man-woman couples, the young kid was even feeling bad.
    Now, film or game makers, they can no longer have a traditional, normal, logical, standard, healthy, good, relationship between a man and a guy. No. They absolutely have to have a 2 seconds scene, with 2 girls or 2 guys kissing, cuddling, fking, even if that doesn’t bring ANYTHING to the game/movie, and has no sense story wise.
    Soon, if they don’t have 2 lesbians or 2 gays 3-second scene in their game or movie, the lgbtq group will sue them ! Come’on…

    So, a message to the lgbtq people : stop wanting everybody to be one of you ! . Stop claiming it is a good thing, for a guy to be with a guy and a girl with a girl, when less and less couples have children, and old people become a huge %.

    If a girl wants to fe with a guy, why should her be forced to ‘try’ a girl ?

    Please, do y our stuff, with the same of/as you, and stop trying to bring more people to your ’cause’.
    And the lesbians, stop hating all guys, just because they have a dik! Stop pretending a man is harassing or raping you, when the guys just asks qhat time it is !
    If lesbians hate guys so much, why are all they insering huge 20 inches man-dik-shaped dildos up their blue-green hairy holes..?

    shit, he have gotten so many fantastic things from the US… but this lgbtq nonsense hysterical absurd thing… it could have remained in the US… and never cross the country.

    regarding the game… just to remind those who can’t understand such logical things.. since centuries, thousands years.. 2000…5000…20000…100’000…
    People ALWAYS saw a man WITH woman.
    it is how the perfect nature did a perfect thing. Men and women MAKE babies.
    that’s why it wasn’t in a different way !

    that’s why, the game editor, thought the 50% of women that will be playing the game, 99.99999% of them wouldn’t be prepared/wouldn’t like to see 2 guys naked and fking, on the screen.
    The lgbtq should already feel lucky, for having relationship possibilities between 2 guys… but no, that’s not enough ! Because we can see a girl and woman totally nude, all gamers should have to be forced to see 1 guy suking the other guy dik!

    sorry, but 1 guy with another guy, it is not the normal and natural way of things.
    The same with 2 girls.

    why should the 75 billion citizens on the planet be forced to see gay scenes, photos, ads, songs, movies, everything, JUST BECAUSE the lgbtq group find it would be a great thing for their gay cause ?

    what if 99.99999999999% of the planet don’t want/can’t accept to see a guy on the street kissing a guy… or seeing a pegi12 movie with their kids, with some scenes with 3 guys suking their balls or taking it up their S, or 2 women performing a 69 ?

    what if the planet DON’T accept/want the lgbtq crazy frustrated movement?
    What if straight people are happy and feel great being straight , without ever thinking about what an lgbtq member can feel or want or need ?

    lgbtq, do your thing AT HOME, and try not to disturb other ‘standard’ people in the streets. Stop whining about the game or movie that doesn’t have a gay scene. That is soo stupid.

    stop being jehovas witnesses.