In a recent interview, Story of Seasons producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto discussed the inclusion of same-sex relationships in future iterations of the franchise. The development team knows that they need to include this feature at some point, but it takes more work than it seems. Adding in all of the new characters, some of which would specifically be gay, Hashimoto explained, would increase the game’s volume by two or three times.
Hashimoto believes that the character customization options are a way to get around this issue, however. The next game in the franchise,
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, will feature a very flexible character creator that allows the player to pick a male, for example, but choose “female style options.” Characters can therefore represent another gender despite there only being heterosexual relationships in the game.
Hashimoto also talked about
Stardew Valley, a similar type of farming simulator game that includes a diverse cast of characters and relationships, but reiterates that their reason for wanting to include same-sex relationships isn’t inspired by that game. It’s their own idea, and he says that Story of Seasons will catch up “sooner or later.”
“It’s not like we’re not thinking about [same-sex relationships]. We know that it has to be there sometime in the future. If we have to allow same-sex [relationships], we have to put more characters who are the same gender. 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.
“It’s not so much that we’re going to be inspired by Stardew Valley in the future, we’re just trying to build up our plan.”
— Yoshifumi Hashimoto
Story of Seasons is the re-branded Harvest Moon series, and the first game is available now on 3DS. Its sequel, Trio of Towns, is launching in the West in 2017, and a new trailer was recently released during Nintendo’s E3 stream.