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The Sims 4 will get new skin tones and fix others, EA says

Black simmers have been campaigning for better representation for years

The Sims 4: Eco Living - two Sims discuss environmental measures in a front yard Image: Maxis/Electronic Arts
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

The Sims 4 developer Electronic Arts promised to add more skin tones and hairstyles to the game, The Sims 4 executive producer Lyndsay Pearson said on Tuesday. The Sims 4 community, particularly Black simmers, have been asking the developer for better representation 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,” Pearson said in a video clip posted to Twitter. “While we have made additions and improvements and fixes in the past, there is much more for us to do.”

Pearson said it’s a priority for the team to add more skin tone options, and to fix current problems with some skin tones in the game — adjusting the “blotchy artifacts and ashy tones” added in previous updates. An update in 2018 added 10 new skin tone options, but they had problems. “On the four darkest shades, there is a strange orange patch around the nose,” Gita Jackson wrote at Kotaku.

Pearson said the team will fix “the visual artifacts with existing skin tones” and add more options for an update “this Fall.”

Ahead of the announcement, more than 85,000 The Sims 4 players have signed a petition to add more skin tones and to fix existing textures. Two The Sims 4 players, EbonixSims and Xmiramira, are credited with carrying the game’s representation so far; both have been responsible for creating a ton of modded The Sims 4 content, including skin tones and hairstyles, for Black sims.

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