Gaming

The Sims 4’s super queer expansion pack to be released ‘unchanged’ in Russia: ‘Love is love!’

Maggie Baska February 17, 2022
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The Sims 4 release a trailer full of queer joy for new My Wedding Stories game pack.

The Sims 4 release a trailer full of queer joy for new My Wedding Stories game pack. (YouTube)

Gaming company EA has vowed not to change, edit or alter a queer-friendly expansion pack for The Sims 4 when it’s released in Russia.

Last week, the game’s developers announced that its upcoming pack My Wedding Stories would not be released in Vladimir Putin’s Russia due to the country’s staunchly homophobic laws. The team said at the time that censoring a queer love story would “compromise the values we live by”.

But The Sims 4 team has now said it will be releasing My Wedding Stories in Russia after immense backlash from fans.

In a letter posted on Wednesday (16 February), the developers told its loyal fanbase that it had “reassessed our options” after “listening to the outpouring of feelings from our community including both support for our decision and concern for their fellow community members”.

As such, the team realised they could “do more than we initially believed” by releasing the expansion pack in Russia, pushing back the global release date to 23 February.

The letter explained that EA has promised that the LGBT+ love story featuring Dom and Cam would remain in My Wedding Stories “unaltered and unchanged” in the Russian edition.

“Love is love, and The Sims community will continue to be a safe space for those who want to see a world where that is true for everyone,” the development team wrote. “We are thankful for the support of our team and our values even when it is hard.”

The team added that they previously believed they could not “freely share the storytelling” of the queer couple in Russia and had “decided the best way to uphold our commitment to sharing their story was to not release this pack there”.

Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law”, which was signed by Vladimir Putin in 2013, bans the promotion of LGBT+ topics to the country’s youth.

When it was originally released in 2014, The Sims 4 was given an 18+ mature rating in Russia, with authorities claiming its inclusion of queer relationships would be “harmful to the health and development” of young people.

Several The Sims 4 content creators and fans spoke out on social media against EA’s decision not to release the upcoming expansion pack in Russia.

Over the weekend, The Sims community created the hashtag “#weddingsforrussia” was created and started trending on Twitter.

There was also an online petition – created before EA’s latest statement – calling for the expansion pack to be released in Russia.

The petition, which has amassed more than 10,600 signatures, said that Russian players have found the game to be a “world without hatred” they could escape to. The authors argued that, by cancelling the release of the wedding pack, The Sims developers were adding to the worsening of LGBT+ rights in Russia.

“Cancellation of the game can only worsen the situation with the rights of same-sex couples in Russia,” the petition said. “By cancelling The Wedding Stories pack, you accepted their homophobic rules of the game.”

More: Russia, The Sims

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