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Mass Effect 2 nearly had another gay romance option with Jacob Taylor, according to ex-BioWare animator

EA
(Image credit: EA)

Another Mass Effect 2 gay romance was cut due to mainstream media backlash, according to a former BioWare employee.

Jonathan Cooper took to Twitter to share a Polygon story and point out that Jacob Taylor was initially meant to be a romance option for MaleShep. Jacob Taylor is a Black male character who joins Shepherd's crew and is a romance option for FemShep only - but that wasn't always the case.

Cooper's Tweet reads: "I animated both scenes for Male & Female. We prevized Jacob as the male/male, matching shot-for-shot from Brokeback Mountain. Was told at the time 'America isn't ready for it'. Perhaps it still isn't'." Cooper goes on to say that the BioWare team matched a scene from Brokeback Mountain so Mass Effect 2 "wouldn't be unacceptable - but different rules for film and games I guess. Personally I still believe it was the wrong call to cut, as we protested at the time. People with a problem can go fuck themselves - they don't deserve to play our games. 

The news that Jacob Taylor was initially meant to be a love interest for MaleShep comes shortly after news that Jack's pansexuality was cut because of heavy criticism from Fox News. Jack has voice lines in Mass Effect 2 that make her pansexuality very clear, but her lead writer, Brian Kindregan, told TheGamer that Mass Effect 1 sex scene backlash from outlets like Fox News led to BioWare removing Jack as a queer romance option for FemShep. 

It's a shame that one of the best RPGs of all time was initially way more inclusive, but felt the need to cut that inclusivity out for fear of media backlash. A pansexual woman and an openly pansexual Black man in Mass Effect 2 would have been an incredible step forward for the industry - here's hoping they re-add those options in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Concept art from a cancelled BioWare game recently appeared online. 

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Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.