The Star Wars: The Old Republic will be following other games to give players the options of same-sex relationships and romances.

Writing on the game’s official blog, its executive producer Jeff Hickman said: “First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game. I realize that we promised same gender romance to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character.

“Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. As we have said in the past, allowing same gender romance is something we are very supportive of.”

In the upcoming Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion pack to the game players can inhabit a new planet called Makeb to flirt with characters of the same gender.

Last year, the makers of Final Fantasy XIV said that they will include same-sex marriages within their game.

The decision to add same-sex relationships in the Star Wars game was first floated in 2011. At the time EA Games said the introduction of gay characters left it inundated with anti-gay letters.

EA Games said it received “thousands” of letters complaining about the inclusion of gay characters, with many threatening to boycott the developer, but defended the decision to represent gay players.

The vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown said given the descriptors on the games it was “hard to believe” anyone was surprised by the availability of gay relationships.