EA has decided not to sell the newest one The Sims 4 wedding expansion pack in Russia due to the country’s anti-LGBTQ “gay propaganda law”. The Sims 4: My Wedding Stories is a content pack that allows players to create their dream wedding (or nightmare) in The Sims 4† Marketing for My Wedding Stories is about a lesbian couple, Camille and Dominique, as they plan their big day.
“During the process of developing and telling our brand, we became aware that the way we wanted to tell Cam and Dom’s story wouldn’t be something we could freely share around the world,” EA said in the statement. announcement. “We’re steadfast in upholding that commitment by shining a light on and celebrating stories like Dom and Cam’s, so we’ve made the decision to waive the release of My Wedding Stories where our storytelling would be subject to change due to federal laws.”
In 2013, Russia passed a law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations between minors.” The law effectively criminalizes the free speech of LGTBQ people in Russia, resulting in fines for pro-LGBTQ expression, access to popular LGBTQ websites and increased violence against LGBTQ people.
The Sims 4 base game and its numerous expansion packs already allow and include same-sex relationships and are sold in Russia under an 18+ rating. When asked whether EA should change its marketing materials or the content of the game itself in order not to break the law, Dana Berkowitz, senior manager of global communications, said there was no further information to share about the decision.
Reaction to the news online has been mixed. Some have praised EA for its uncompromising vision, while others have regretted that Russian players, especially those who might otherwise be unable to express their queerness, will have to do without it.