Last night, The Sims 4’s dev team announced that their upcoming game pack, My Wedding Stories, would not be available in Russia because of laws in the country against “gay propganda.”
The trailer for My Wedding Stories forefronts LGBT characters in The Sims 4. In it, two new female characters, Dom and Cam, fall for each other and grow old together over a simlish version of Etta James’s song “At Last.” The Sims 4’s development team said that the creation of these two characters were part of why this pack will not be available in Russia.
“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,” they wrote in a letter to their players last night.
“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,” they continued.
Waypoint reached out to The Sims 4’s development team for additional details on how they came to this decision but they declined to comment.
Russia’s laws on “gay propaganda” makes it illegal to show LGBT content to anyone under 18. The Sims 4 and all its expansion packs are rated T for Teen in the U.S., and in Europe are labeled as appropriate for 12 year olds and up in the PEGI rating system.
The Sims has always been an industry leader in terms of inclusion of queer characters and content. Design documents for the very first game in the series feature renowned developer Don Hopkins saying that anyone who has an issue with The Sims allowing for queer relationships “needs to grow up and get a life.” Famously, the 1999 E3 demo for the game featured an unscripted lesbian kiss at a time when gay marriage was not legal in America.
“The ability to tell stories—any story—is at the core of what we do at The Sims,” the development team’s letter continued. “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.”