The Sims players in Russia won’t be planning same-sex weddings for their favorite gay characters thanks to the country’s infamous “gay propaganda” law.
An upcoming expansion pack, The Sims 4: My Wedding Stories, has been pulled from release in Russia by publisher EA due to its inclusion of same-sex marriage.
EA specifically highlighted “federal laws” in Russia as the reason for cancelling the expansion pack’s Feb. 17 release date.
In a statement posted to the company’s website, EA noted the reveal trailer for The Sims 4: My Wedding Stories, featuring same-sex couple Dominique and Camille, “a couple whose love knows no boundaries,” EA said.
The trailer introduced the various features in My Wedding Stories, including a new game world, engagement parties, bachelor/ette parties, and of course the main event — fully planned by players from location to attire to the perfect cake.
EA highlighted Dom and Cam’s love story in the trailer, from realizing their love through to renewing their vows as a mature couple, all while a version of Etta James’ “At Last” plays in The Sims‘ native language, Simlish.
Naturally, that much gay joy wasn’t going to fly in Russia, which already labels The Sims games 18+ due to their inclusion of same-sex couples.
In its statement, EA said it had opted not to release The Sims 4: My Wedding Stories because it didn’t want to compromise the game to conform to Russia’s homophobic “gay propaganda” law, which bans the marketing of LGBTQ content to minors.
EA said that, while developing the expansion pack, “we became aware that the way we wanted to tell Cam and Dom’s story would not be something we could freely share around the world.”
“The ability to tell stories — any story — is at the core of what we do at The Sims,” EA said. “Holding back Cam and Dom’s story meant compromising the values we live by. We are committed to the freedom to be who you are, to love who you love and tell the stories you want to tell.
“So what does that mean for you, our players? We are steadfast in upholding that commitment by shining a light on and celebrating stories like Dom and Cam’s, so we have made the decision to forgo the release of “My Wedding Stories” where our storytelling would be subject to changes because of federal laws,” EA continued.
“Regrettably, this means that members of The Sims community in Russia will not be able to purchase this game pack,” they concluded. “To our Simmers around the world, we are grateful to have you in our universe.”
While some questioned EA pulling the release of My Wedding Stories, given the base game is already rated 18+ and thus wouldn’t be sold to minors, at issue could be EA’s decision to highlight Dom and Cam’s wedding on the expansion pack’s cover art.
The pack may not have been available for minors to buy, but merely exposing them to the cover art — and its same-sex wedding — could put EA in violation of the law.
Rather than create new, heterosexual cover art for Russia, it seems EA instead opted to pull the pack entirely.
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