The Sims 4 will be rated 18+ in Russia—despite its family-friendly status in other countries—because the game allows same-sex relationships between Sims.
The news was revealed by The Sims’ Russian Twitter account which also said the inordinately harsh rating “has been assigned in accordance with the law number 436-FZ.”
Law 436-FZ is Russia’s infamous bit of red tape designed to combat “gay propaganda,” titled under “On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development.”
An update from EA spokesperson Deborah Coster has confirmed that the studio will not be altering the game in order to dodge 436-FZ. “One of the key tenets of The Sims is that it is up to the player to decide how to play the game,” she told Polygon. “We provide the simulation sandbox and player choice and creativity does the rest.”
The games industry has been butting heads with homosexuality abnormally frequently lately, what with Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life fiasco—oddly enough, a debate also centered around a sandbox title—only recently concluding with the company issuing a formal apology to outraged fans.
The Sims 4 itself has also been seeing its share of limelight, though the real news is the attention it’s said to be getting at E3 2014.