(Featured Image Source: EA)
EA has announced that it will not be selling its latest Sims 4 expansion, Wedding Stories, in Russia due to the country’s hate-filled policy directed towards LGBTQA+ community members.
Wedding Stories will let players celebrate love, and EA is firmly standing by their vision of creating an expansion that shows “the joy of finding love, celebrating that love and telling stories that have meaning on a personal level.” Something impeded by Russia’s anti-gay policy.
The Sims 4 team statement:
“A Letter To Our Players from The Sims TeamVia EA.com
Yesterday we introduced you to The Sims 4 “My Wedding Stories” Game Pack and along with it, to Dominique and Camille, a couple whose love knows no boundaries. Today we want to explain the decision we’ve made to not release this pack in Russia.
Celebrating Love, Your Way
Over the years, you’ve delighted us with the ways your Sims have found love and celebrated that love through weddings in our base game. You’ve also shared with us your eagerness to walk down the aisle, have your Sims take their seats and shed a tear of joy as you made a lifelong commitment.
When we set out to create “My Wedding Stories” this was the vision we had for our global community: the joy of finding love, celebrating that love and telling stories that have meaning on a personal level.
Imagining the stories our players will tell with our packs is at the heart of everything we create. For “My Wedding Stories,” we were excited to introduce you to Dom and Cam. Their love story reflects the lived experiences 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.
A Commitment to Our Values
The ability to tell stories – any story – is at the core of what we do at The Sims. 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.
So what does that mean for you, our players? We are steadfast in upholding that commitment by shining a light on and celebrating stories like Dom and Cam’s, so 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.
To our Simmers around the world, we are grateful to have you in our universe.
With love and gratitude,
The Sims Team”
Russia passed “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” in 2013, which criminalizes any form of pro-LGBTQ+ support or expression, going so far to ban access to LGBTQ+ websites and online spaces, and censoring it out of media. This law has resulted in a sharp rise in attacks and abuse of the people it targets and has been denounced by numerous human rights groups.
The reaction to EA’s decision has been mixed, as the version of The Sims 4 currently available in Russia already includes the option to be a same-sex couple (though it is rated 18+ there while only being rated 13+ by the ESRB in the United States).
Either way, we stand by EA’s decision to not compromise their game due to a disgusting law.
Remember: Love is Love.