BioWare Will Include Sex Scenes in Games If They Fit the Plot

Despite taking a bit of a thrashing in the mainstream media, BioWare remains unfazed by the 2008 controversy that Fox News ginned up over the well-known and tenderly played sex scene in best-selling RPG Mass Effect. The noted game developer’s upcoming title Dragon Age: Origins is set to feature more of the same.
In an interview with CVG, co-founder of BioWare, Greg Zeschuk discusses the inclusion of sexual interactions in video games:

I don’t think [games] need to have [sex scenes], I think that in certain types of games it makes sense to have them… That said, I think from our perspective we want to reflect real human relationships… And if that involves some sort of intimate scenes, we want to provide those for the player.
It’s based on the fact that this is a sophisticated mature experience. The same way that a kid’s anime or cartoon will have a different style of content in it than a really serious drama, this is like a serious drama. Really what we’re going for in all cases is emotional engagement, some kind of impact.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen thinks Microsoft’s Project Natal could make for some interesting sexual interactions in video games…

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  1. Andrew Eisen says:

    "That may be so, but it was in there because they wanted it to be playable."

    You don’t know that.  Certainly it was meant to be playable at one point but was, for whatever reason (and there are many potential ones) removed from the final playable game.

    And there’s nothing irresponsible on the part of Take-Two.  Why would they have disclosed the existence of non-playable content?  Locking out unused code instead of removing it outright is standard coding practice.  Why would they have bothered to go through the time and expense to remove Hot Coffee when there was (at the time) no good reason to do so?


    Andrew Eisen

  2. FlakAttack says:

    But to find that block you had to go looking for it… meaning you knew you were getting into unreleased and unrated content. Take Two’s responsibility to you ended once you took it upon yourself to crack the game.

    Look, too many people are quick to shrug off the responsibility of their actions these days. If you crack a game, you do it knowing that you may find things that were unexpected and that you don’t like.

  3. jedidethfreak says:

    That may be so, but it was in there because they wanted it to be playable.  When it was decided it wouldn’t be, they didn’t actually remove the content.  They just put in a block that was hacked almost immediately.  That suggests, at least to me, an amount of irresponsibility on T2’s part.  As such, IMO, they should have told the ESRB about the content, non-playable or otherwise, or deleted it outright.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  4. Andrew Eisen says:

    Plus, at the time, non-playable content was not considered pertinent and not required to be disclosed.


    Andrew Eisen

  5. jedidethfreak says:

    I say that, as long as any sexual activities in-game make sense to the game, and the ESRB rates the game accordingly, go ahead.  However, if the content is there and isn’t reported to the ESRB (I’m lookin’ at you, Take Two), then they should be blasted away.  I’m sure that BioWare will fall into the former.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  6. State says:

    Actually I would say the opposite, Bioware are saying "Fuck all the people who say mature games need violence and sex", they’re only going to do it if there is a point to it. Don’t think we’ll be seeing Mass Effect Extreme Beachball any time soon.

  7. Mr. Stodern says:

    Glad to see a company with balls. Fuck the puritans. Literally. Some of them really need it. 🙂

  8. starsrift says:

     From Neverwinter Nights on, I’ve been impressed with Bioware’s handling of that aspect of emotion and relationships. It’s not the cheap tawdry crap you see almost everywhere else. So many "mature" games are not. Kudos to Bioware for sticking to their guns.

  9. Beacon80 says:

    I particularly liked the people who claimed it was "objectifying women" while overlooking:

    A) If you’re playing a female character, you have the option of going out with the male human.  It’s treated the exact same as a male character courting the female human, or either character courting the alien.

    B) In order to get to the sex scene, you have to have connected with the character.  You need to talk to them about their parents, their people, and their views on Humanity’s emerging role in space politics.

    C) If you actually pay attention to the details, it’s revealed that for the alien, most of the sexual act happens on a psychic level.

    So yeah… if all that’s still objectifying women, I’d hate to see what lengths you have to go to for it to qualify as respecting them as individuals.

  10. mdo7 says:


    yeah, that’s true. Fox attack Mass Effect and they didn’t attack TV and movie when they show sex on there.  Don’t you hate that when this happen, that’s when double standard come into play.  I wish they would shut up about it.  Sex is a common and natural thing to do.  I guess they forget how life start, sex and I think everybody knows the rest (impregnation, giving birth, and life grows).  I guess people at Fox didn’t stufy Biology just like most of us do.


    "The same way that a kid’s anime or cartoon"

    uh, somebody tell Greg not all anime are not for kids.  But that reminds me, when Mass Effect just came out in Japan a month ago.  That game sold like hotcake and it reached #3 on the top ten selling software for weeks.  I wonder why that game sold so well in Japan. my possible theory:

    -the gameplay, our Japanese gamers have waited for this game for a long time.  This RPG is very unique from all the other RPGs.  *Japanese RPG companies getting to work to make a Mass Effect "Clones"


    -they just play it to see the sex scene, because everybody knows in Japan they treat this like an erotic game and also this game had alien sex which is a rare thing in JApanese game and this American game manage to satisfy that for the Japanese audience.  

  11. Ashton says:
    It’s hilarious to me that people still views sex as some taboo even though it’s a natural and common occurence. Not that I’m saying that TV shows should show full on sex scenes, but to make a big deal out of anything remotely sexual is absurd to me – especially if the sex is a result of a deep character interaction.
    That’s what struck me as greatly absurd about the Mass Effect controversy – you have these conservatives who think sex is a intimate and emotional connection between two people ripping a game a new asshole for depicting it as… well, just that. Brilliant.
  12. hayabusa75 says:

    I’ve already got a great idea of who I’d want in my party…

    "De minimus non curat lex"

  13. Aliasalpha says:

    It’d be kind of cool if they made an RPG about porn stars, the sex would be integral to the story but they could tease the hell out of people by never showing it

  14. jedidethfreak says:

    Any company that’s willing to use any news organization to influence the content of their products doesn’t deserve to produce anything.

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  15. Longjocks says:

    I say good on Bioware for not letting the children’s playground that is Fox News influence their artistic vision.

  16. Beacon80 says:

    If I recall, Jack Thompson was the only one who claimed Bully was pornographic.  Anyone else who might have said it was probably just parroting his claim that it had "gay sex".

  17. State says:

    Actually Bioware have said a lot of intelligent stuff recently, also saying that they wouldn’t include violence for the sake of it. Too many people making games today act like children and think that swearing, sex and violence makes a game mature, a game like Saints Row 2 has all of that but is definitely a childish title. BMX XXX played the same trick too.

    I’ve seen much stronger sex scenes in 12 rated/ PG-13 films, I’ve also seen incredibly mature films which have only PG ratings. Games it seem aren’t allowed sex at all, if they do they are classified as pornographic (I’d love to see what the critics would say when they would actually see a softcore pornographic film, because the sex in Mass Effect is not comparable to sex in porn). The same sex kissing in Bully was considered pornographic, so kissing in games is pornographic? Do they actually know what pornographic means?

  18. Beacon80 says:

    I agree.  All the Faux News accomplished was selling copies of Mass Effect to a bunch of people who never put in the 30+ hours you need to reach the sex scene.

  19. tibuka says:

    Huh… What he said is pretty much self-evident. Developers should include sex scenes if they fit the plot, but not for the publicity they might produce. I think if the game is aimed at adults it is hardly worth mentioning.

  20. Father Time says:

    They get to make a decision on whether or not they’ll have a sex mini-game meanwhile the God of war team is nearly forced to have one.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  21. Magic says:

    Sex in Games: They’re generally being alarmist, the idea being that games are somehow corrupting kid’s minds or is some evil intention of developer’s. Maybe it’s a left over panic from the Hot Cofee mod scandal, which apparently in GTA SA WAS interactive sex, with the player controlling CJ’s "movement" – should the line be drawn before that or is that how sex should be portrayed in games?

    Alternatively, those alarmist muppets are part of the religious mindset that sex is sinful and embarrassing, etc., even if it’s part of human nature.

    Anime: I believe he made the distinction clear with "kid’s anime", as in Pokemon or whatever, rather than the likes of Hellsing. 🙂

    RPGs in JapanDefinitely the latter.

    Ok, just kidding. It’s absolutely a good thing, as I can’t believe how (As I understand it from articles and reviews) J-RPGs have barely changed in their mechanics over the last decade. I also hope it’s because ME is a really good game. The action became straight forward at the last half of the game but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

    Also: "Ready for round two? " "*Laughs* Commander Shepherd!"

  22. Michael Chandra says:

    Let them explode. Let’s see the media reply on not a sex minigame for fun, but an actual romance scene in the same style lots of movies do. Someone needs to show games matured into a not-just-adolescent medium.

  23. Cheater87 says:

    Good luck to them getting it released in America without the media exploding. 😛 

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