Sims 4 Expansion Featuring Gay Marriage Won't Reach Russia Because of Homophobic Laws

"My Wedding Stories" features a gay couple that would violate Russian laws.
"My Wedding Stories" features a gay couple that would violate Russian laws. / Photo courtesy of Maxis/EA

The next Sims 4 expansion, "My Wedding Stories," won't be released in Russia because of a federal law preventing the depiction of same-sex marriages.

Although the expansion focuses on marriages of all types, its inclusion of same-sex marriages would make it run afoul of a law Russia passed in 2013 that considers any media depicting homosexuality a form of propaganda. The law aims to "protect children from information advocating for a denial of traditional family values," effectively banning any media that acknowledges the existence of gay people.

Maxis, the developer of The Sims, had to decide between censoring its work so that it could be distributed in Russia, or simply opting not to release the expansion in Russia. In a move that may disappoint Russian fans of the The Sims, it chose the latter.

In a blog post explaining the decision, Maxis said its commitment to the gay characters in question, Camille and Dominique, overrode its hopes to sell in Russia.

"The ability to tell stories — any story — is at the core of what we do at The Sims," the developer wrote. "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."

"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 the subject to changes because of federal laws."

For the rest of the world, "My Wedding Stories" arrives Feb. 17.