Lyndsay Pearson, the executive producer of The Sims 4, tells what it’s like to create a game in a studio with women. The focus of the interview isn’t The Sims 4 but certainly was interesting none the less.
GamesBeat: Where do some of the players come in and push you further in other directions? Do they make you think more about some of these issues?
Pearson: One interesting anecdotal example. In The Sims 4, we’ve introduced a lot of body modification. Something that gets harped on in games a lot is boob sliders. They’ve been quite a point of contention in other games. Well, what we find interesting about our audience is that we’re very mixed. We introduced these sliders for body shapes, and the women in our audience are way more excited about the boob sliders than our male audience. They can re-create themselves and people that they know. They wanted that control to be able to make different body shapes. It just means different things in The Sims, and I appreciate that.
We’re saying that this is about creating anything you can imagine, about telling any story you can imagine. Our tools mean different things. It’s kind of a subtle jab at everything else, but I like it. It’s a subtle point. For us, this tool is important, because it lets you build who you want to create. The arguments against other games have always been, “It doesn’t really matter, because it’s clearly just gratuitous.”
It’s fun to see our super-vocal community coming out on the boards and saying, “We need more boob shapes! We need more butt sliders!” All right, guys, we’re working on it. And it’s not because they’re looking to make crazy-looking characters. It’s because they’re trying to realize actual replications of people they know, or of themselves. That’s really cool.