Nintendon't have a same-sex relationship: Life-sim Tomodachi Life provokes fan controversy

Nintendo has reacted negatively to fans' demands to include same-sex relationships in its life-simulation game Tomodachi Life.

The games giant's stance comes after one fan staged a social media campaign requesting that gay characters be allowed in the game.

Tomodachi Life has stormed the Japanese market and is set to launch in the US and Europe in June.

"The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that 'Tomodachi Life' was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary," Nintendo of America said in a statement.

The #Miiquality campaign – so tagged because of the "Mii" characters within the game – was started by Tye Marini, a gay 23-year-old Nintendo fan from Mesa, Arizona, and asked supporters to post on Twitter and Facebook and to write to Nintendo.

Within the game, players can interact with a virtual island through personalised avatars, or Miis. Gamers can shop, play games, go on dates and come across celebrities in their simulated lives.

Marini came into difficulty when trying to marry his real-life fiancé's Mii.

"My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé's Mii or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it," he said in a video posted online.

"It's more of an issue for this game because the characters are supposed to be a representation of your real life."

The game's denial of gay relationships is surprising considering they feature in The Sims series and Skyrim, amongst other life-simulation/RPG games. Nintendo's childhood-conquering Mario series even features a transgender character named Birdo.

Nintendo said in a statement, "The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localise it for other regions outside of Japan."

The case comes as a further blow to Nintendo, which has suffered in recent times due to poor sales of the Wii U.