'Mass Effect Andromeda' Romance: Gay players feel neglected — this chart proves it's true
In particular, players who were hoping for more same-sex options for male character Ryder have started using the hashtag #MakeJaalBi to bring attention to the fact that there has never been a male alien romance option for male characters.
As a result, players are discussing the history of same-sex romance options in the Mass Effect franchise since its beginning in 2007, and seeing every single romance option laid out makes one thing very clear — romance options between males are sorely lacking in comparison to all others.
This chart makes the romantic inequities in Mass Effect: Andromeda very clear
In a chart that's been circulating on social media, you can see every single romance option in the entirety of the Mass Effect franchise, organized by the gender of the player character and of their potential partners. If you look at the bottom, it's clear male/male options have been neglected the most — by far.
The first male/male romances were added in Mass Effect 3 — five years after the first game came out — with human characters Kaidan and Steve. And, five years later, in Mass Effect: Andromeda, players got just two more romance options — both of whom were humans, yet again.
Unsurprisingly, given game companies' loyalties to a perceived user base of straight, male gamers, female romance options for male player characters are by far the most numerous and diverse. There are a whopping 14 female characters that male player characters can romance over the course of the series.
Tied for second place are female/male romances and female/female romances at nine options each. Male/male romance options come in last, with a paltry four romance options since the series started in 2007 — none of whom are non-human and three of whom are side characters.
If you're keeping track, the only male squadmate a male character has ever been able to romance is Kaidan in Mass Effect 3. That's it.
In response to the outcry over the lack of male/male romance options in Mass Effect: Andromeda, creative director Mac Walters tweeted the following:
If BioWare releases any more information on potential new male/male romance options in Andromeda, we'll let you know.
More Mass Effect: Andromeda news, updates, tips and tricks
For more on everyone's favorite space opera, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here's an essay on the troubling history of colonialism in Mass Effect, a story about the horrifying harassment campaign carried out against a former BioWare employee, a guide to removing Ryder's helmet, a guide on romancing Keri, a guide to romancing Reyes and a quick explainer on the different types of health in Andromeda.