Story of Seasons will feature same-sex relationships 'sooner or later'

E3 2021 takes place June 12-15 as a re-imagined, all-virtual online event. Nintendo, Xbox, Bethesda, Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Ubisoft, Capcom, and others will deliver new video game announcements, trailers, release dates, and more.

The Story of Seasons series — other players may know it better by its former name, Harvest Moon — has long exclusively offered heterosexual singles for players to woo. That will definitely change in future entries of the popular farming sim, producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto told Polygon.

"It's not like we're not thinking about [same-sex relationships]," Hashimoto said. "We know that it has to be there sometime in the future."

But, according to him, it will take more work than just allowing players to date any eligible bachelor they want, regardless of gender. In order to make same-sex marriage possible, he told us, the game will have to include separate, specifically gay characters to date.

The increased amount of people to marry is why the Story of Seasons games, among all the farming and fishing and animal-herding, just includes a handful of straight guys and girls for now, he said.

"If we have to allow same-sex [relationships], we have to put more characters who are the same gender," he said. "As a game, it's going to be so much more volume, two or three times more. It's going to be a little difficult."

Hashimoto said there's a way to sort of get around that, though: Flexible character customization is available in Trio of Towns, the series' next Nintendo 3DS game that's out next year, as well as its predecessor. While a male character can still only end up with a woman, players can change his look using the specifically female style options. That means that, while your farmer is still assigned as male or female from the start, he or she can present as another gender entirely.

But that's a superficial workaround, and one that seems especially outdated when the runaway Steam hit and indie farming sim Stardew Valley already includes a diverse set of characters and relationships. Hashimoto is aware of the game, and said he's happy about its success. But he denied that Stardew Valley's more diverse character and relationship features are the inspiration for Story of Seasons' eventual inclusivity.

"It's not so much that we're going to be inspired by Stardew Valley in the future," he said. "We're just trying to build up our plan."

Instead, he said bluntly, Story of Seasons will catch up "sooner or later."

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