At a time when gay marriage is illegal in most countries across the real world, one forward-thinking MMO developer is displaying a liberal attitude in the virtual world.

The game is Runes of Magic, a World of Warcraft-esque free to play MMORPG that makes its money through micro-transactions.

In an upcoming free expansion, called Chapter III - The Elder Kingdoms, a marriage system will be introduced that allows same sex marriage.

What's interesting is that Runes of Magic is developed by a Taiwanese studio, called Runewaker Entertainment. Taiwan, which is governed by Republic of China, does not have any recognition of same-sex unions.

Although Runes of Magic's marriage system is still shrouded in mystery, the game's Western publisher, Frogster, told that married players will gain bonuses.

"You will be married and somehow connected to the other player," explained Frogster's Philipp Senkbeil.

"Of course you can only be married with one person at the same time. It's even possible to have gay couples, so no need to just have a male and female character. Two male characters and two female characters can marry each other."

The first iterations of a wedding chapel are already in place. Players will be able to propose and tie the knot, although we don't know if an in-game ceremony will be involved.

Senkbeil added: "There will be some bonuses for players. For example, one could be a ring to teleport to the other person."

While it is rare for MMOs to permit gay marriage, it is not without precedent. Last year it was announced that fellow free-to-play MMO Dream of Mirror Online would include same-sex marriage options for players.

Check back for our preview of Runes of Magic: Chapter III - The Elder Kingdoms soon. Until then, hit up our Runes of Magic review to get the lowdown on the game.

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