US mobile game to be removed from China, allegedly for gay content

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/21 17:58:40

US video game company Electronic Arts (EA) announced it will remove its popular mobile game The Sims Freeplay from the Chinese market, prompting speculations over the reason behind the decision.

The Sims Freeplay, a free-to-play life simulation game published by EA, will be discontinued in China starting July 5 "in light of regional standards," reads a statement published on the game's website on Wednesday.

The game will also be discontinued in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Egypt, it said.

It is important for the game to embrace values as broad and diverse as the players, according to the statement.

EA did not reply to a request from the Global Times as of press time for details of the reason for the discontinuation.

"Considering that the other six countries named in the statement are countries where a great majority of people regard gays and lesbians as criminals, the game's LGBT content might be the reason behind the removal," Duan Juncheng, a Beijing-based video game expert and industry insider, told the Global Times on Thursday.

A guideline released by China's internet industry association in 2017 prohibits homosexuality in online publications.

"In the game, a player can create a simulated avatar and experience his or her life, including social life, building houses and forming a family. The player character can freely marry another character regardless of gender," a long-time Sims series fan surnamed Shan told the Global Times on Thursday.

According to Shan, other Sims games allow male characters to become pregnant.

First launched in 2000, Sims is a popular video game series on various gaming platforms. The Sims Freeplay is part of the series and was released on smartphones and tablets in 2011.

Newspaper headline: US mobile game with gay content will not reach Chinese market

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