One of the biggest news channels of the United States technically pressured BioWare to change the game a bit.
Brian Kindregan, the writer of Mass Effect 2, told The Gamer in an interview that Jack was supposed to be a pansexual character („sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity”), but a negative Fox News report about the prequel changed the plans, allowing Jack to be romanced if Commander Shepard was a male.
„I was trying to chart out the arc of [Jack’s] romance, which for much of the development – it was very late that it became a male/female-only romance. She was essentially pansexual for most of the development of that romance. Mass Effect had been pretty heavily and unfairly criticized in the US by Fox News, which at the time… maybe more people in the world thought that there was a connection between reality and what gets discussed on Fox News.
The development team of Mass Effect 2 was a pretty progressive, open-minded team, but I think there was a concern at pretty high levels that if [the first] Mass Effect, which only had one gay relationship, Liara – which on paper was technically not a gay relationship because she was from a mono-gendered species – I think there was a concern that if that had drawn fire, that Mass Effect 2 had to be a little bit careful,” Kindregan said. Courtenay Taylor, the actress of Jack, separately confirmed to The Gamer that she always had the impression of the character being pansexual, and she didn’t know why or when it was changed.
A decade has passed since the launch of Mass Effect 2, and now, it is going to get a graphically enhanced re-release as part of Mass Effect Legendary Edition (including the trilogy), and Electronic Arts will publish more details about it this year.