Sims 4 gets more much-needed diversity - but at a price

Sims in a room full of colorful furniture
(Image credit: EA)

The Sims 4 has received a huge free update that adds over 1,000 color variations to build items, alongside new South Korean and Indian-inspired hairstyles and outfits.

The update is part of The Sims 4's Season of Selves, which - according to a press release - aims to introduce "new content that defies borders and norms, encourages self-expression and creativity, adds new dimensions to Sims’ spaces through color and facilitates play in entirely new ways".

In addition to this new free update, EA Maxis has announced two new fashion-inspired kits, The Sims 4 Fashion Street Kit and Incheon Arrivals Kit. 

The Fashion Street Kit adds new clothing and accessories inspired by trends from Mumbai's premier shopping destination, Fashion Street, and adds items including nose rings, bangles, henna tattoos and colorful, flowing Sarees. 

While the Incheon Arrivals Kit adds looks styled after the Korean fashion (known as K-fashion) seen in South Korea's Incheon airport. Expect trendy, minimalist looks with traditional influences, with the Kit adding long coats, sweatbands, hoodies and much more.

Both Kits are set to release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on October 5.

Opinion: More options are needed - but they shouldn't be behind a pay wall

Sims dressed in South Korean style clothes

(Image credit: EA)

The Sims 4 was released seven years ago, so it's about time EA Maxis decided to give the base game a revamp. The developer previously said in a blog post, back in August, that its roadmap would involve "improving content that is in the game" - and it seems it's stayed true to its word. 

Since then, we've seen The Sims 4 Spa Day getting an update, with free content, and now the addition of new color variations for build items including curtains, ovens, beds and more.

But what has been the more welcome improvements have been diversity and inclusion additions. There has previously been discontent among Black Simmers that The Sims 4 doesn't offer as wide a range of Create A Sim options for those who wish to create Black Sims, with many affected having to use custom content to see themselves in the game.

The issue resulted in the Twitter campaign #EAListen in 2020, with marginalized Simmers asking EA Maxis primarily to address the issue of darker skin tones in-game - with many feeling the dark skin tones were limited and often ashy. The campaign resulted in EA Maxis adding over 100 new skin tones in December 2020.

But still, the majority of The Sims 4 hairstyles and outfits often appear to be created with white Sims in mind - and more needs to be done.

EA Maxis introduced a new modernized afro hairstyle for free into The Sims 4 back in July and, while one hairstyle absolutely isn't enough, it hopefully suggests the developer intent on addressing its diversity issue - though seven years after release is pretty late.

The introduction of Indian and Korean-inspired Kits is also a step in the right direction. However, these Kits should have been free. While there will be some outfits and hairstyles influenced by these Kits included in the base game for free, Simmers shouldn't have to pay to see their culture reflected in the game - these looks should have been available in the base game anyway.

It's been a long time coming but, hopefully, EA Maxis will make it a priority to add content that reflects more races and cultures so that every Simmer can see themselves in the game. 

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.