Russia Might Ban Apex Legends and Overwatch 2 Over “LGBT Propaganda”
According to a news report by BBC, Russia is extending its ban on all “gay propaganda” in the country. A 2013 law was passed in Russia that makes it illegal to provide any information about being LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual/aromantic/agender) to children. Russia is now prohibiting any information that could “cause minors to desire to change their sex”. The new law will affect the video game industry as well. According to a news report from Gazeta.ru, several popular games may get banned from the country.
Almost a dozen popular games might be banned in Russia
Yana Lantratovam, the first Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education, has proposed a law that targets 11 games featuring LGBTQIA characters.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Life Is Strange
The Last of Us
The Sims 3
Lanatrova stated that in games like The Sims 3 “the hero also has the option to kiss a same-sex friend, ask him out on a date, make love, and even start a family and have kids! Sometimes people of the same sex can stick to the hero himself with kisses. That is, a child who plays this kind of behavior is shown as the norm, and they are given the opportunity to try an alternative scenario for family relations.”
Lanatrova specified that there will be no punishment if teenagers play characters of the opposite sex. But spreading “propaganda” about same-sex relationships or different sexualities could lead to a fine ranging from 200,000 roubles to 400,000 roubles ($330 to $660 USD) for individuals. For entities, the fine could go up to 4 million roubles ($6,600 USD).
In Apex Legends, Fuse and Bloodhound were canonized by Respawn Entertainment as a couple. Loba and Valkyrie are also shown to be in a lesbian relationship in the game. There are multiple other legends who identify as gay, transgender and pansexual.
In the Overwatch world, Tracer is in a lesbian relationship while Soldier:76 was in love with a man in the lore. The new laws being put in place could mean that the games will no longer be available in Russia.
Things could also take a different route with censorship being put in place if the developers want to continue catering to Russian fans. In China, LGBTQIA content in several movies is censored and things could take a similar turn in Russia. Only a proposal has been filed at the time of writing and a law is yet to be passed.