The Sims 4 will get Russia's equivalent of the M-for-mature rating and the reason appears to be the life simulation allows same-sex relationships, which runs afoul of the country's notorious law against "gay propaganda."
Officially, The Sims 4 is being classified 18+, which carries the notation "prohibited for children." The Sims' Russian Twitter account said the rating "has been assigned in accordance with the law number 436-FZ."
An amendment to that law last year raised international protest, particularly at this year's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The amendment proscribes "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships." The overall law was originally passed in 2010, and is titled "On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development."
The Sims 3 launched in 2009 and, predating this law and the amendment, thus wasn't rated 18+. The Sims in Russia apparently still expected a rating of 12+ this time, judging by the background image on its Twitter page. In the United States, all but a handful of Sims editions have been rated T for Teen, with the others being rated E for Everyone or E 10+
Polygon has reached out to an EA representative to ask if the company will alter the game's release in Russia, challenge the 18+ classification, or accept it. This post will be updated with any reply received.
Update: "We have no plans to alter The Sims 4," said Deborah Coster, a spokesperson for The Sims. "One of the key tenets of The Sims is that it is up to the player to decide how to play the game. We provide the simulation sandbox and player choice and creativity does the rest."