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The Real Reason This Sims 4 Expansion Can't Be Played In Russia

Video game censorship isn't exactly a new problem. People were already throwing fits about video game content back in the 1970s, but many attempts at censoring games have backfired and caused the games in question to do even better than anyone expected. However, that's not always how it works, and there have been numerous titles that have had to remove controversial content after their release. In order to avoid running into this problem, "The Sims 4" team has decided to only roll out its new wedding DLC in markets that allow for same-sex marriage — and Russia did not make the cut.

In a blog post from EA titled "Our Commitment to You," the developers behind "The Sims 4" explained to players that the upcoming "My Wedding Stories" Game Pack wouldn't be available for purchase in specific areas of the world because of the story between the characters Dominique and Camille. Specifically, their relationship and the story that the "Sims" team wanted to tell wouldn't be allowed under some of Russia's, which led to the ultimate decision to not release the Game Pack in that country.

Back in 2013, Putin signed what became known around the world as "the anti-gay law" of Russia (per The Guardian), which placed a ban on so-called "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" and has prevented the release of media featuring LGBTQ+ characters and situations. However, according to some fans, this law shouldn't have applied to "The Sims 4."

Some fans are confused by this Sims 4 development

According to several Twitter users, the Russian law wouldn't have applied to "The Sims 4" because the game is already rated Mature in Russia, and is therefore meant for audiences 18 and older and not marketed towards children. Some called this a form of "self-censorship" from EA, which was confusing and sad for some Russian "Sims" fans.

There's always a debate in the gaming community over censorship in the games industry, mirroring a much bigger argument about censorship in a plethora of different communities. Some have argued that censorship in video games can make a game better, such as when racist imagery or homophobic content is removed. On the other hand, many feel that this action opens the door for government control over a creative medium.

However, the bigger question in the case of "The Sims 4" was whether or not EA decided to not release the Game Pack in order to make a statement or take a stand, as one Twitter user pointed out, or if it was to avoid having to change the content for an international audience, like other games have had to do. The official statement from "The Sims 4" team explained that the "storytelling would be subject to changes because of federal laws," but some fans have questioned how true and binding that actually was.