Post Backlash, “Sims 4” LGBTQ Wedding DLC Gets Russian Release
Electronic Arts reversed course Wednesday, saying it will release the latest game pack for the popular life-simulator game “Sims 4,” “My Wedding Stories,” in Russia after initially announcing the pack, which allows players to marry same-sex partners, wouldn’t release in the nation.
“We’ve been listening to the outpouring of feelings from our community including both support for our decision and concern for their fellow community members,” The “Sims 4” development team said in a blog post. “It’s equally important for us to stand by our values, including standing against homophobia, and to share stories like this with those who want and need it most.” The team promised the Russian release of the pack will be “unaltered and unchanged” from those released in other regions.
The change of heart comes after prominent members of the game’s online community spoke out in opposition to the initial decision to exclude Russia. The dev team cited Russia’s laws against “gay propaganda” as the reason for omitting the nation from its release schedule, stating that it didn’t want to release the pack “where our storytelling would be subject to changes because of federal laws.” But the law in question focuses on content directed at minors, whereas “Sims 4” is rated 18+ in Russia.
According to Waypoint, members of the game’s online community criticized EA for excluding Russian players and depriving LGBTQ Russians of needed representation due to the nation’s staunch anti-LGBTQ stance. Others downplayed the severity of the law and boiled the whole issue down to anti-Russian bias on the part of EA. A number of “Sims” influencers also stated they wouldn’t make pre-release content for the wedding pack, which heavily features an LGBTQ couple in its marketing, in response to EA’s initial decision.
The announcement also stated that game pack will be delayed slightly, moving the release date to Feb. 23 so that all ‘Sims’ players can “celebrate together.”
“Crusader Kings III” Adds Gay Marriage
Paradox Interactive’s feudal-era strategy game “Crusader Kings III” now allows players to marry same-sex characters following the release of the game’s robust 1.5 update. Those wishing to marry their regal avatars with a member of the same-sex will be able to do thanks to a customization slider when starting a game.
The update also adds a number of customization options related to same-sex relationships as well, including making every religion in the game accept same-sex marriages and allow for same-sex relationships with concubines. Unfortunately, the game still won’t allow characters to have children with members of the same sex, which is important in a game where building a legacy through the player’s kingdom is vital.
The update also does nothing to address trans and gender-diverse identities within the game, especially since individuals that identify as such can have children. Check out Gayming Magazine’s full breakdown on how the game’s same-sex marriage system works for more details.
Gayming Awards Nominees Announced
Speaking of Gayming Magazine, nominees for the publication’s second-annual Gayming Awards have been announced, with Kitfox Games’ dating sim/dungeon crawler “Boyfriend Dungeon” and Deck Nine’s empath adventure “Life is Strange: True Colors” leading the field with four nominations each.
Both titles are up for Game of the Year alongside “Psychonauts 2” and “Unpacking,” and “Boyfriend Dungeon” is also up for the fan-voted Gayming Magazine Readers award and Best LGBTQ Indie Game. Both are nominated for the Authentic Representation award, which highlights the best authentic portrayals of the LGBTQ community in video games, as well.
Two characters from “Life is Strange: True Colors,” Alex Cen and Steph Gingrich, are nominated for the Best LGBTQ Character award.
The complete list of nominees, including those in categories celebrating comics, tabletop games, streamers and advocacy groups, is available here. The 2022 Gayming Awards will air live on Twitch on April 25.
Sims 4: Previously on Towleroad
Image courtesy of Electronic Arts