The latest Sims game has been rated ‘Adults Only’ in Russia, because it contains same-sex relationships.
The Sims 4, which is due to be released later this year, was this week awarded a rating prohibiting its sale to minors in the country.
Same-sex relationships have been present in the EA franchise since the first game in 2000, with same-sex adoptions and marriage later added to the series.
The Sims 4′s official Russian Twitter account explained: “18+ rating has been assigned in accordance with the law number 436-FZ, ‘On the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development’.”
A previous game in the franchise received a 12+ rating in 2009, but Russia has heavily cracked down on portrayals of same-sex relationships in recent years.
According to Ars Technica, the same game received a rating of just 6+ in Germany.
Although same-sex relationships are possible in Sims games, they do not occur at random, and players must actively choose to initiate same-sex encounters for them to appear.
GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz had yesterday praised the Sims franchise for its approach to same-sex relationships compared to Nintendo’s.
He said: “In purposefully limiting players’ relationship options, Nintendo is not only sending a hurtful message to many of its fans and consumers by excluding them, but also setting itself way behind the times
“It’s been over a decade since The Sims — the original ‘whimsical and quirky’ life simulator — allowed its users to marry any character they wanted, and many other mainstream and massively popular video games have followed their lead since.
“Nintendo should do the same.”