BEST-selling Japanese video game franchise Final Fantasy will feature same-sex marriage for the first time in the series’ 14th instalment.

Announced by the game’s director and producer Naoki Yoshida at video games expo E3 over the weekend, a forthcoming update to the game will allow players of the same sex to “pledge their eternal love and or friendship in a ceremony of eternal bonding”.

Speaking through an interpreter at video games expo E3 in Los Angeles, Yoshida said the development team had discussed the issue and realised there was no reason to discriminate against fictional same-sex couples in the game’s imaginary setting of Eorzea.

“We realised, within Eorzea, why should there be restrictions on who pledges their love or friendship to each other?” he said.

The multiplayer online role-playing game (RPG) Final Fantasy XIV was controversially relaunched last year after its initial 2010 launch was widely panned. While successful, the relaunch garnered criticism from gay fans disappointed at the exclusion of same-sex marriage from the game.

The Final Fantasy series has a vocal gay fanbase, with a prolific community of slash fiction writers romantically pairing same-sex couples from the series’ numerous iterations.

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