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Welcome Back to the West
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The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...

GAMING NEWS

The Sims 4 Rated Adults-Only in Russia

Posted on Monday, May 12 @ 09:30:00 PST by


This piece of news came out several days ago, but I didn't want to stack so many articles centrally about same-sex relationships while the TomadachiLife situation was happening. Nonetheless, The Sims 4 will be slapped with an Adults-Only or 18+ rating in Russia, according to a Tweet on the Russian Sims account, despite past The Sims titles being rated the equivalent of 'T' in the past and even 6+ in Germany (out of all the European countries, huh?).

This new rating is due to Vladimir Putin's signing of436-FZ into law in June 2013, as a means "to effectively ban the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights" in Russia. The ability to have same-sex relationships in The Sims 4 would be "harmful to [children's] health and development," according to the law. The ESRB has yet to give a rating for The Sims 4, though it is expected to receive a T rating as well.

While the impact of this AO-rating in Russia is uncertain, I surmise that this will increase piracy for the title in Russia (where piracy is already high), since restricting anything that some people really want (if but secretly) always creates an underground market for it. This also sets a unfortunate precedent for future titles that will be banned in Russia due to same-sex relationships as well, such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and The Elder Scrolls.

Where it would be plausible for a company to get rid of Nazi symbols to sell a video game in Germany as with the recent case ofWolfenstein: The New Order, it may be risky for a developer to create a special Russian version that takes out all optional same-sex romances in a game. We'll see if that ever happens.
Related Games:   Mass Effect, The Sims 4
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