The Sims 4 will get a free base game update, which will visually improve darker skin tones and some hair options, following a pubic commitment to improving representation.
Electronic Arts said the update will fix the game’s current blotchy and ashen look to darker skin tones, and alter two base game hairstyles will be changed. The update arrives on PC and Mac on October 4 and on November 10 for console players.
Players will need to toggle the Uncompressed Sim Texture option on in order to see the skin tone updates when they go live. EA notes that the update may crash on some graphics cards and recommends ones rates medium or higher with at least 2GB of video RAM.
EA said the October update is only the first step in more sweeping changes coming to the game starting this December. The Sims 4 will receive “at least a hundred new skin tone swatches in cool, neutral, and warm tones with a particular emphasis on darker skin tones.” The game will also add a new slider for all skin tones that allows players to change how light or dark they appear. The December update will also add a slider for makeup options and will improve two other base game hairstyles.
EA said it’s collaborating with external partners and community members on the update. It plans to share more news about the changes in late October or early November.
The Sims has come under fire in recent years for its lack of representation for people of color. Some players in The Sims community have gone around EA by creating their own free, custom mods, which add more diverse hairstyles and skin tones.
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
In August, executive producer Lyndsay Pearson said that The Sims 4 team was committed to making the game’s character creations options more inclusive for people of color.
“We hear you and recognize that we have not done enough to address the variety of skin tones and hairstyles 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.”