EA’s decision not to publish My Marriage Stories-his new expansion pack related to love and marriage for The Sims 4—in Russia led to intense backlash from segments of the fandom. EA now says it will release the expansion in Russia, “unaltered and unchangedpushing the game’s release date to February 23 for all players.
Last week, the development team behind The Sims 4 said they would not release the pack in Russia, citing “federal laws”. Famously, Russia has a law against “gay propaganda”, defined as materials “[aimed] cause minors to develop non-traditional sexual predispositions, notions of the attractiveness of non-traditional sexual relationships, distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships, or to impose information about non-traditional sexual relationships which arouse the interest of such relationships insofar as these acts do not constitute a criminal offence,” according to a translation by the human rights group Article 19. The Sims 4which allows same-sex romantic relationships, is already marked as 18+ in Russia.
“[W]We felt our team couldn’t freely share the storytelling of same-sex couple Cam and Dom in Russia and decided the best way to fulfill our commitment to sharing their story was to not post this pack there.” writes the Sims development team in a letter to the community. “We re-evaluated our options and realized we could do more than we initially thought and will now be releasing The Sims 4 My Marriage Stories game pack for our community in Russia, unchanged and unchanged, featuring Dom and Cam. ”
The development team said they are pushing the global release date to next week so that it is consistent for all players.
My Marriage Stories, which gives more depth to the gameplay around love and marriage, features a lesbian couple on the cover art. This couple is also the focus of the game’s marketing campaign. They live in the new town of My Marriage Stories as elders who want to renew their vows.
Members of The SimsThe EA community said that this move by EA excludes Russians. Over the weekend, the hashtag “#weddingsforrussia” was created and gained momentum within the community. A subsequent promotional livestream for the game was also done without live chat, further irritating gamers looking for answers. This led to great Westerns sims influencers announcing that they won’t be previewing content for My Marriage Stories.
It’s a bit puzzling why the community has come together to protest this decision. Some have said that not releasing the pack in Russia discriminates against LGBT people in Russia who need to be represented; others, however, said Russia’s law regarding “gay propaganda” isn’t as tough as EA claimed, and that not releasing the pack was evidence of anti-gay bias. -Russian.
Waypoint reached out to the US State Department for clarification on how US companies navigate discriminatory laws from foreign governments; he couldn’t provide much.
“Looking at the ad, it appears the manufacturer had very clear reasons for their decision,” a State Department representative told Waypoint via email.
Waypoint contacted EA for further details on this decision and they declined to comment.
The life of LGBT people in Russia is not easy, and sometimes very dangerous. Human Rights Watch called Russian laws ‘gay propaganda’ as particularly harmful to queer youth in Russia. american companies, including EAhave always had problems with “gay propaganda” laws when it comes to LGBT content in their games.