EA Promises To 'Do Better' With The Sims Representation
EA has promised to "do better" in terms of representation after allegations the Sims Summit failed to represent people of colour fairly. Although The Sims has been a staple of the video game scene since 2000, it's been frequently called out for its lack of black Sims.
The Sims 4 has been knocking around since 2014, and while it continues to evolve with DLCs and the recent announcement it's going free-to-play forever, we're looking at what comes next. While the Sims Summit secured the future of the title with a baby-themed expansion, the big talking point was the reveal of Project Rene, aka The Sims 5.
What Has EA Said About Representation?
As spotted by content creator Ebonix, EA has said it "did not fairly represent our vast community of players," saying it "let [players] down." Ebonix said there weren't any black Sims in the showreel, which got the following response from EA: "You are right in your frustrations, & we let you down. We owe it to you & each of our Black creators & players to make sure you are seen & celebrated for all that you bring to The Sims & The Sims community."
The official Sims Twitter didn't expand on how it will improve, however, Ebonix added, "Accountability is the first step, but we know accountability without action is just dreams sold. The voices I've heard come from the community ring crystal clear. There needs to be genuine, meaningful action. Unprovoked by these circumstances. We will see!"
Across the board, the fan-favourite franchise was called to task over its representation of the black community. Opening a can of worms, streamer Hannah Rutherford tweeted EA and said, "I see black creators consistently busting their backsides for your game - and they have been for years. It’s mostly how I follow Sims news. The fact you missed this in 2022 and in the UK Black History Month (I know you’re not UK but some of your players are) is mindboggling."
Same Sims, Same Argument
Ultimately, EA's track record speaks for itself. If being called out for a lack of skin tones wasn't enough, there were recent allegations that The Sims has been whitewashing its families. We've also covered how Paralives is already doing better than 22 years of The Sims with people of colour and disabilities.
The Sims 5 is the perfect chance to start afresh. When announcing Project Rene, Lyndsay Pearson said, "We're ushering in a new future for The Sims, with a new game experience and more." It remains to be seen how EA will "do better," but with repeated complaints about representation being thin on the ground in the simulation series, the publisher has a lot of people to convince.