Russia: Sims game rated ‘adults only’ over same-sex relationships

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The latest Sims game has been rated ‘Adults Only’ in Russia, because it contains same-sex relationships.

The Sims 4, which is due to be released later this year, was this week awarded a rating prohibiting its sale to minors in the country.

Same-sex relationships have been present in the EA franchise since the first game in 2000, with same-sex adoptions and marriage later added to the series.

The Sims 4’s official Russian Twitter account explained: “18+ rating has been assigned in accordance with the law number 436-FZ, ‘On the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development’.”

A previous game in the franchise received a 12+ rating in 2009, but Russia has heavily cracked down on portrayals of same-sex relationships in recent years.

According to Ars Technica, the same game received a rating of just 6+ in Germany.

Although same-sex relationships are possible in Sims games, they do not occur at random, and players must actively choose to initiate same-sex encounters for them to appear.

Last week, Nintendo confirmed that same-sex relationships would not be allowed in upcoming game Tomadachi Life, after removing them from the Japansese version last year.

GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz had yesterday praised the Sims franchise for its approach to same-sex relationships compared to Nintendo’s.

He said: “In purposefully limiting players’ relationship options, Nintendo is not only sending a hurtful message to many of its fans and consumers by excluding them, but also setting itself way behind the times

“It’s been over a decade since The Sims — the original ‘whimsical and quirky’ life simulator — allowed its users to marry any character they wanted, and many other mainstream and massively popular video games have followed their lead since.

“Nintendo should do the same.”