The Sims will no longer force players to make their characters strictly ‘male’ or ‘female’ – with a free update opening up all clothing and gender identifiers to characters.
The popular EA life simulation video game series first launched in 2000, and over the years has made changes to reflect society – including the ability for same-sex weddings and gay adoptions.
However, until now all characters had to be either ‘male’ or ‘female’- with clothing, hairstyles and physique restricted based on the gender of the character.
Game studio Maxis announced today that a free update will be coming to The Sims 4 this week that will remove all gender restrictions, in line with the studio’s gender ethos.
Under the new system, players will be able to customise a range of options regardless of gender – tweaking their voice, putting them in any available clothing, and even changing the way they walk.
EA says it wants to “make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to through powerful tools that give them influence over a Sims’ gender, age, ethnicity, body type and more.”
Exec Rachel Franklin explained that under the changes “female Sims can wear sharp men’s suits like Ellen [DeGeneres] and male Sims can wear heels like Prince.”
It also allows for transgender Sims to be portrayed any way that a player desires, allowing them to represent themselves.
The studio said it worked alongside LGBT advocacy group GLAAD on the update – which will also de-emphasise the gender of Sims in in-game menus.
Same-sex relationships have been present in the EA franchise since the first game in 2000, with same-sex adoptions and marriage later added to the series.
The game’s affirming stance has previously seen it awarded an ‘adults only’ rating in Russia.