Electronic Arts have announced today (June 2) that all gender-based boundaries have now been removed from The Sims.
Until now, the popular video game series has restricted certain clothing, hair styling, body shape, walk type and voice options to either male or female characters.
However, with a free update made available today, all options will be available to all characters regardless of their gender.
Electronic Arts said in a statement to press today that it wanted 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”.
The executive producer of The Sims 4, Rachel Franklin, told the Associated Press that developers worked on the update for a year, during which time they consulted with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
As part of the update, players will be able to change the gender of a character at any point in the game. Discussing the update with the Associated Press over email, Franklin wrote: “Female Sims can wear sharp men’s suits like Ellen (DeGeneres), and male Sims can wear heels like Prince.”
The Sims has provided options for same-sex relationships since it launched in 2000, and made same-sex marriage available in 2009.