On Wednesday, February 9, the team behind The Sims 4 announced that it would be not making its new ‘My Wedding Stories’ Game Pack available to audiences in Russia. This comes following the release of the Game Pack’s trailer on February 8, which revealed that the new storyline would feature a sapphic romance.
Game developers explained their reasoning behind this in a letter addressed to their players, saying: “Yesterday we introduced you to The Sims 4 ‘My Wedding Stories’ Game Pack and along with it, to Dominque and Camille, a couple whose love knows no boundaries.
“Today we want to explain the decision we’ve made to not release the pack in Russia.”
I love @TheSims https://t.co/U1b4Arhy42
— Juno Birch (@JunoBirch) February 10, 2022
The letter continued by describing the vision they had for this pack, saying the team wanted to depict “the joy of finding love, celebrating that love and telling stories that have meaning on a personal level.”
They added that “[Dom and Cam’s] love story reflects the lived experience of so many members of our community and team.
“As we moved through our development and brand storytelling process, 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.”
This quote is referencing Russia’s Gay Propaganda Law, signed and introduced by Vladimir Putin in June 2013. Under this legislation, it is illegal to promote “nontraditional sexual relations to minors”, whether that be through the press, TV, radio, internet, or in this case gaming. As a result, any LGBTQ+ content must have an 18+ rating, limiting young people’s access to it.
The statement continues by saying: “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.”
Finally, it confirms, “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. Regrettably, this means that members of The Sims community in Russia will not be able to purchase this game pack.”
EA’s decision has sparked debate among the gaming community, with some applauding the game developers for not compromising their content, and others saying the move is damaging for LGBTQ+ Sims 4 players in Russia.
The hashtag #WeddingsForRussia emerged on Twitter yesterday, with gamers criticising EA and calling for the game to be released in the country.
Why the decision to ban Wedding Stories in Russia is not about the defense of LGBTQ+ rights: a thread.
Please, sit down. It will be a loooong ride.
This is really huge im so sorry
— хао | #weddingsforrussia (@SimplyHao) February 11, 2022
On the other side of the argument was Twitch’s Community Marketing Manager, Dylan (@8BitDylan), who tweeted: “This is a Russia issue, not an EA one.”
This does not hurt LGBT Russian players. What hurts the community is when you have to strip any Queer marketing from a product because it is Gay. LGBT summers in Russia can still play the game and acquire packs outside of this. This is a Russia issue not an EA one.
— Dylan (8Bit) ?️? (@8bitdylan) February 10, 2022
The Sims 4 ‘My Wedding Stories’ Game Pack will release on February 17, and you can watch the trailer featuring Dom and Cam below.
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