'Thousands of anti-gay threats' storm EA

'Thousands of anti-gay threats' storm EA

By Rob Crossley

April 5th 2012 at 10:33AM

Publisher claims to be victim of political harassment

Electronic Arts has broken silence on a politicised hate campaign which has led to ‘several thousand’ anti-gay letters and emails reaching its offices in California.

The swamp of complaints from anti-gay pressure groups have been issued to Electronic Arts’ executive circle, including CEO John Riccitiello, according to a GamesIndustry International report.

Two of Electronic Arts’ biggest games this year – both Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic – purportedly allow customers to engage in straight or gay relationships with other in-game characters.

EA said it would not bow to pressures, branding the campaign to remove such gay scenes as “political harassment”.

"Every one of EA's games includes ESRB content descriptors so it's hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content,” said communications executive Jeff Brown.

The flood of letters has been directed to EA’s board of directors as well as its creative heads.

“We have met with LBGT [lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender] groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums,” Brown added.

“In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don't tolerate hate speech on our forums.”