Tomodachi Life (known in Japan as Tomodachi Collection: New Life) is a comedic life simulator developed by Nintendo SPD Group 1 and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS (both retail and eShop) on April 18, 2013 (in Japan) and June 6, 2014 (worldwide).
The sequel to the Japan-exclusive Nintendo DS game Tomodachi Collection, players can import their Miis from their Nintendo 3DS's Mii Maker (or from QR Codes) and have them live together in an apartment complex on a secluded island.
By interacting with their Miis and resolving their frustrations, players can unlock more shops (selling clothing, gifts, food, and apartment styles) and activities (for the Miis to partake in). Naturally, the Miis (who have different personality traits) will want to meet and regularly interact with each-other, developing friendships, rivalries, and maybe love. These relationships can develop into crazy and bizarre situations that the game is known for.
The game initially seemed to allow for two male Miis to engage in a relationship and subsequently get married. However, this was a bug that could also hard-crash the game and corrupt the save file and was thus removed from the game in a patch not long after the game's launch. This drew heavy criticism from certain media outlets and within social networks but the reporting solely focused on the the removal of same-sex interaction without taking the full context into account.
After the western localization was announced, Nintendo UK commented on the matter and explained the context surrounding this controversy:
Two developments occurred that led to some misunderstanding about this.
First, as a result of a mistake in comprehension of Japanese, some people misinterpreted Japanese reports and fan activity and thought same-sex relationships were possible.
This occurred because they saw Japanese fans posting game screenshots of male and female Mii characters, where female Mii characters were designed and clothed in such a way that they looked male. Since these explanations were made in Japanese by the Japanese fans who posted the images, the Japanese people do not have such a misunderstanding.
Second, a critical bug occurred in the original Japanese version of the game which made it impossible for the player to continue the game.
When Mii characters were imported from a Wii console, or the previous game in the Tomodachi Collection series on Nintendo DS (which was only released in Japan), into the Nintendo 3DS version, it could lead to scrambled Mii data within the Nintendo 3DS version.
This could result in different Miis being randomly assigned to existing in-game relationships, such as already married Mii, or as just one other example, giving the appearance of same-sex relations. Because this bug caused the inability for the player to save the game data and continue the game, we released a patch.
The game is considered a surprise hit, especially in Europe where it performed extraordinarily well, selling 1 million copies by December 2014 and breaking 2 million by February 2016. Global sales of Tomodachi Life have reached 5.30 million copies as of September 30 2016.