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The Sims 4 Reverses Course On Controversial Russian Release

Many fans of "The Sims 4" were upset when it was announced on Feb. 9 that the game's upcoming "My Wedding Stories Game Pack" wouldn't be released in Russia. The upcoming expansion centers on a love story between Dominique and Camille, two women who end up getting married. "The Sims" team originally declared the story of the new expansion would be "subject to changes because of federal laws" in Russia, which has a long-standing legal and social history of anti-LGBTQIA+ violence and discrimination. However, as of Feb. 16, "The Sims" has reversed the decision, which means Dom and Cam's romance in the "My Wedding Stories" Game Pack will be launching in Russia.


In an update to the original "Our Commitment to You" announcement, which formally announced the decision to withhold the Russian release of the wedding expansion, developers explained the reasons behind the script-flipping decision. Though they originally thought including Cam and Dom's story "would be subject to changes because of federal laws," a fact which fans debunked, the team "reassessed [their] options and realized [they] can do more than [they] initially believed." The team gave a similar comment to IGN, though they have declined to elaborate further.

By the looks of things, the team's wedding expansion decision reversal was either due to a misunderstanding of Russian laws, or perhaps the realization that fans had called their bluff on withholding the content from Russian release without any specific legislation cited. Either way, the end result is an effort for the company to "stand by [its] values, including standing against homophobia, and to share stories like this with those who want and need it most."


The pack will be delayed

A big part of the decision to release Dom and Cam's story in Russia was fan feedback, as "The Sims" team cited "listening to the outpouring of feelings from our community including both support for our decision and concern for their fellow community members."


The "My Wedding Stories" Game Pack will launch "unaltered and unchanged" in Russia, so it's unclear why the release date has been pushed back from Feb. 11 to Feb. 23, though the company cites the hope for "the entire Sims community...to celebrate together." The team went on to reiterate that "love is love" and expressed gratitude for this "support...even when it is hard," though it is unclear what was hard about the decision.

While Dom and Cam's story won't end homophobia in Russia, the representation is certainly a step in the right direction that builds upon the franchise's history of increasing LGBTQIA+ inclusion