The Sims series, including the most recent installment The Sims 4, has always been a way for players to create custom characters within the game world. Players either choose from Maxis created content from The Sims team, or use Alpha mods that make Sims look more realistic.
Since the game launched, many gamers have criticized the lack of diverse skin options. The criticism states that the skin tones don’t look realistic or are not diverse enough. The same criticism goes to the lack of hairstyles. Even with all of the Expansion Packs, Game Packs, and Stuff Packs, the content doesn’t have enough options.
Custom content is often suggested, but this is only available to PC players. Players also noted that custom content shouldn’t be necessary to make Sims as unique as people. Simmers playing on consoles can’t play with mods and have to use only what content Maxis gives them.
Players decided to further push The Sims 4 team by compiling a Change.org petition. The petition asks for more skin tones and a color wheel into the game. The petition has had over 80,000 signatures.
I want to acknowledge your concerns about the variety of skin tones represented in The Sims 4 & I have some updates from the team to share. pic.twitter.com/Nzeg8VwllS
— Lyndsay Pearson (@SimGuruLyndsay) August 12, 2020
The Executive Producer/GM of The Sims, Lyndsay Pearson, recently posted a forum post stating the lack of diverse changes was coming soon. The other The Sims team members have also stated that Pearson speaks for them. The statement was made in a forum post, a video on Twitter, and a corresponding transcript.
Pearson also acknowledged that even though custom content exists, this does not mean that they are absolved from working harder as a team to better represent their player base.
The team is working on launching more options this year to diversify The Sims 4, even though it has been out for years:
We hear you and recognize that we have not done enough to address the variety of skin tones and hair styles that you expect to find in The Sims 4. While we have made additions and improvements and fixes in the past, there is much more for us to do.
Pearson stresses that they are working on rolling out the diverse content this year. It’s unknown how this content will come to existing players or if it will only be included in future packs. The changes are also not a quick fix. Diversifying the game will be a long-term project.
The Sims team has been listening to The Sims players since The Sims 4 was launched. The game listened to feedback about adding toddlers, which weren’t initially included at launch. Only recently were repo people and firefighters included in the game.
The Sims 4 is available now on PC/Mac and consoles.