MoreThis image released by Electronic Arts shows the new diverse characters that will be available on "The Sims 4" the latest edition of "The Sims" video game.

The studio said in a statement 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."

While previous editions of "The Sims" have featured character customization restrictions based on gender, users have unofficially modified the PC game over the years to remove such barriers.

"The Sims 4" executive producer Rachel Franklin said in an email to The Associated Press that the developers have been working for over a year on the update.

She said Maxis worked with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group GLAAD on the update, including following a suggestion to remove gender symbols associated with characters in the game's gallery.

"It was a pleasure working with developers who were committed to updating the game so that all players can create a Sims world that more accurately reflects the world in which we live today."

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