Members of Russia's Parliament have reportedly asked government regulators to investigate EA Sports for an LBGTQ-friendly promotion it ran last month for its FIFA 17 soccer game, alleging that the promo turned the game into gay propaganda aimed at minors -- which is illegal under Russian law.
Now that digital distribution has made global game releases a possibility for most devs, this is a good reminder that cultural and legal idiosyncracies in other countries can have very real consequences for you and your work.
Citing an article in the Russian-language publication Izvestia, The Guardian reports that at least one Russian MP is now calling for an investigation into whether or not FIFA 17 maybe be legally sold in Russian territory, while another is advising that EA Sports be ordered to modify the game or change its age rating to avoid being branded illegal goods.
Some nuance may be lost in translation, but it is true that Russia currently maintains vaguely-worded legal prohibitions against promoting homosexual ideas to minors. The free "Rainbow Kit" FIFA 17 DLC EA Sports added was explicitly promoted as a way to "make sports everyone's game" and raise awareness for Rainbow Laces, a campaign by the UK-based nonprofit Stonewall to make sports and sports culture more LGBTQ-friendly.