Sims 4 Game Pack Featuring Gay Characters Will Be Released in Russia Amid Chaos

EA’s decision to not release My Wedding Stories—its new love and marriage-related expansion pack for The Sims 4—in Russia led to intense backlash from segments of the fandom. EA now says that it will release the expansion in Russia, “unaltered and unchanged,” pushing the game’s release date back to February 23 for all players.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4aw74j/sims-4-game-pack-featuring-gay-characters-will-be-released-in-russia-amid-chaos

(tinfoil hat time) so what you’re saying is they got a lot of free press for their expansion they otherwise wouldn’t have had

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(confiscating your tinfoil hat) If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right.

Despite the saying, there is such a thing as bad publicity. If reversing a decision after fan backlash was their intent, they could have just announced NFT integration like everyone is does, then back out. Also, delaying the release date is generally considered an expensive marketing move, so if it was intended, we probably wouldn’t have seen the date change.

From my perspective, these are the possibilities for what might have happened:

  • The Russian version is different, and EA lied about it being unchanged.
    Probably unlikely, given that this tends to be bad press all round, and supporting multiple versions is extra overhead.
  • The game is released unchanged, but the Russian marketing is changed or absent.
    The expansion might be digital only in Russia, or have the cover changed. This is the outcome I find most likely, personally.
  • EA was right, and the expansion is banned by the Russian government.
    Probably not likely considering the game is already restricted in Russia, but enforcement of these types of laws is always arbitrary, so could definitely still happen.
  • EA was wrong, and the game can be released (under the existing homophobic restrictions), but their initial decision was based on an earnest belief the expansion would be rejected.
    EA has been dealing with Russia’s laws on this subject for years now, so they should have a pretty good idea what is and isn’t allowed, but we have no idea what responses EA has been receiving over this time. It is possible they had a good reason for thinking the expansion would be rejected even if winds up not being so.
  • EA did not legitimately believe the game would be rejected, but wanted to highlight this homophobic law.
    Seems like a stretch, and would be a weird way to go about it, but if it was true… well I guess I’d have to thank a company for putting issues before profit, even if their attempt was stupid.
  • EA did not legitimately believe the game would be rejected, but wanted to stoke/ride anti Russian sentiment.
    This is probably the only tinfoil hat explanation I could get believe, though I still don’t think it’s likely. Making a statement about Ukraine might have been more direct at present, but given the game’s community, it is possible they thought highlighting lgbt issues would be more impactful. This is very conspiratorial thinking though, and even if it was true, it wasn’t successful, so I’m inclined to discount this one.
  • EA did not legitimately believe the game would be rejected, but were deny the game from Russia because of homophobia against Russians?
    Okay I have no idea how this one makes sense, but it’s something I legitimately saw people accusing Gita of being involved with, so I had to include it to show just how wild some of the arguments have been getting. If you believe this, please go touch grass.

It’s also worth noting that a lot of accounts in the hashtag for releasing the expansion in Russia are the firstname-bunchofnumbers, few week old accounts we’ve all gotten used to seeing in this social media landscape. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything in regards to who is attempting to influence this, it could just be a bunch of sims fans with absolutely no cool, but it does raise doubts about the campaign.

With all that said, feel free to tinfoil hat again now, and thanks to Gita for covering this, despite the harassment she’s been receiving.

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I’m insulated enough from Gamer Discourse this managed to somehow surprise me, but, of course. Sigh.

(tbf I don’t know how much I believe my own Theory lol it’s just, well talking about russia sure is the only reason I’ve heard of this expansion, yknow?)

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