EA introduces new gender options in 'The Sims'


Today Electronic Arts Inc. announced a significant free* update to its popular game The Sims 4 that allows players a greater range of gender customization options when creating their Sims.

The Sims is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. It allows players to create characters, known as Sims, and then launch those Sims into the game where they lead a life that includes aging, falling in love, getting married and starting a family. Some players create Sims that resemble themselves and their friends, they can also create Sims who are not based on actual people.

Within the game, players use "Create A Sim" mode to create their Sims. Players can select the Sim's gender, body shape, voice tone, hairstyle, and clothes, among other options. Before the update, players were limited to choosing only male or female Sims, and most voice, clothing, and hairstyle options were specific to only one gender. 

With today's free update, players now have many more customization options when creating their Sims. Body shapes are more variable, and all voice, hairstyle and clothing options are available to all Sims, regardless of their gender. The update also allows players to bring a Sim who was created as male or female back into Create A Sim and modify the Sim’s gender. This gives players the opportunity to tell transgender stories in way that wasn't possible before the update.

Several months ago, Electronic Arts reached out to GLAAD and asked the organization to consult with them as they enhanced the customization options within Create A Sim. While all players can use the new gender customization options, the company wanted to make sure that the update was respectful to the transgender community and reflected choices a transgender player might want to make when creating Sims.

"Creating the possibility for greater gender diversity within the world of The Sims is an exciting development," said Nick Adams, the director of GLAAD's Transgender Media Program. "It was a pleasure working with developers who were committed to updating the game so that all players can create a Sims world that more accurately reflects the world in which we live today."

The update is available today to those players running the most current version of The Sims 4.

Read an interview with four staffers at Maxis, the studio that creates The Sims.

* Requires internet connection and all game updates.

The Sims is a trademark of Electronic Arts Inc.