Russian gamers' selection of gamers has grown fewer after its government's decision to go and invade Ukraine. Several companies decided to stop selling their games and make them unavailable in Russia as a way to make a stand. But, now, it appears that the government is thinking of making even fewer games available to its citizens, as per a recent report.
In late October, BBC reported that Russia wants to extend on its "gay propaganda" ban to all adults. It's worth noting that Russia already approved a similar law in 2013 that made sharing LGBT info with children illegal. Apparently, the Russian government thinks that such info might "cause minors to desire to change their sex."
First deputy chairman of State Duma Committee on Education, Yana Lantratova, proposed to remove video games featuring LGBTIA characters from circulation, with fines of up to five million rubles (roughly $82.2k USD) for players and video game developers.
If approved, the law will affect the video game industry in Russia as it will include the said games (as per Gazeta.ru):
- Apex Legends
- Assassin's Creed
- Divinity: Original Sin 2
- Dragon Age
- Life Is Strange
- The Last of Us
- Rim World
- The Sims 3
Apex Legends and Overwatch 2 have a long list of characters confirmed to be a part of the LGBTQIA community. Apex Legends, in particular, has seven playable characters that are LGBTQIA.
LGBTQ+ stories in video games have become more common as the community welcomes the idea of non-traditional genders and relationships in video games. It's also opened the conversation of a more diverse and inclusive gaming industry. The Russian government is well within its rights to ban LGBTQ+ themes in mainstream media. However, we can expect the rest of the world to see this as an attempt to suppress free speech and promote homophobia in the country.