Apex Legends Seemingly Banned in Russia Under New 'LGBT Propaganda' Law

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law expanding Russia's restrictions on the promotion of so-called "LGBT propaganda."
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law expanding Russia's restrictions on the promotion of so-called "LGBT propaganda." / Respawn Entertainment

Apex Legends is among the list of video games seemingly banned in Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law expanding the country's restrictions on the promotion of so-called "LGBT propaganda."

The move expands a 2013 law, "for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating a Denial of Traditional Family Values," which banned the dissemination of LGBTQ-related information to minors.

The new Russian law makes it illegal to promote LGBTQ relationships, publicly express non-heterosexual orientations, or suggest that they are "normal" across the internet, films, books, or in advertising. Violations are punishable by fines and, if committed by non-residents, could lead to their expulsion from Russia.

The law was approved by Russia’s upper and lower houses in recent weeks. In an interview with Gazeta.Ru in November, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education, Yana Lantratova, named Apex Legends among a list of titles featuring LGBT characters that may be banned in Russia.

"We are talking about the promotion of non-traditional relationships, when they are served as the norm, something attractive," Lantratova said.

In Apex Legends, Bloodhound, Gibraltar, Loba, Fuse, Valkyrie, Seer, and Catalyst are all LGBTQIA+ characters.

In March, amid the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Electronic Arts announced its decision to suspend all sales, as well as remove its game and content listings within Russia and Belarus. This followed EA's decision to remove the Russian National Team and all Russian clubs from its EA Sports FIFA titles.