The Sims 4 has been around since 2014 and has seen constant expansions and upgrades in the years since but one area it has struggled in is one of the most simple.
The Sims 4 currently has 35 skin tones in total. This includes 10 darker-skinned tones as well as tones for the fantastical expansions like vampires and aliens. So make believe creatures got the same level of representation as black players, basically.
Black simmers have often complained about the range and quality of the darker tones, pointing out that they suffer from colouring and texture issues, which ranges from blotches to a persistent ashy shade.
Creative players in the thriving Sims modding community have been making new skin packs to help correct these issues but it was about time EA and developer Maxis did something more official about the problem. Popular streamers and prominent members of The Sims community, Xmiramira and EbonixSims have created skin tone packs that have helped black players create Sims that better represent themselves. The conversation these players have raised was an important one within the community and the industry at large and it seems like it was heard by the right people.
The Sims 4 will be adding more skin tone options while also adding improvements to the existing skin tone options this year. This comes directly from Sims Executive Producer, Lyndsay Pearson, in a video released on Twitter.
“Inclusivity is at the core of the Sims franchise. From the beginning, we set out to let you build sims that look like you or people that you know. And we understand that right now it doesn’t feel like we’re truly living up to that promise. We are making it a priority to release more options this year, as well as to address the visual issues with current skin tones – specifically to improve the blotchy artefacts and ashy tones.”
The Sims 4 aims to represent a kind of idyllic spin on reality, with many players often creating themselves and their friends in the game to enjoy the fantasy life of having job stability and a nice house, so it has desperately needed to broaden its scope when it comes to representing its fanbase. This is a very welcome piece of news. Read the replies beneath Pearson’s tweet (below) to see just how much this news means to players. These things matter.
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