Note: This article was updated on 6 January 2021 to include additional details.
The year 2021 has arrived with real 2020 energy. Before the first Blue Monday of the new year was even over, Electronic Arts (EA) has upset The Sims player base. Well, not EA alone. Them and MAC Cosmetics.
On Sunday, MAC revealed that they have released a new make-up palette inspired by The Sims. So far, so good, right?
If you have played The Sims 4, you’re probably expecting a vibrant pop of colours.
Err, well, it’s a good thing 2020 taught us to keep expectations of everything dismally low because there’s nothing bright about this. In fact, remember what we were saying about Blue Monday? Yeah, not possible with this palette.
The MAC x The Sims partnership: Quick history
Let’s start with a quick bit of context. In 2020, or 20 million lightyears away now, The Sims 4 released a free base game update which included a branded partnership with MAC Cosmetics.
MAC’s director of makeup artistry, Romero Jennings, was created as a Simself and helped design some make-up looks for The Sims 4 in the eyeliner, eyeshadow, lips, and cheeks categories.
That in itself didn’t go down so well, because, well… yeah… it just didn’t really look… right.
But everyone moved on and most players probably returned to using the make up created by modders.
MAC X The Sims: The latest controversy
But now we’re back here. The palette released by MAC – supposedly inspired by The Sims 4 – is just a bit dull. And not just that, as pointed out by players on social media, the palette is remarkably similar to an existing MAC palette. Yikes.
Considering how popping the colours were part of the collab in the first place, the messaging seems a bit confused. Well that, and the shades don’t exactly scream ‘The Sims’. It’s not that hard to take some colour inspo from the very game that inspired the palette, is it not?
Sims players certainly didn’t struggle with the concept and shared some of their own ideas about shades and even names for them that MAC could have used to make it more Simsesque.
These are the swatches that we wanted. With NAMES that play on The Sims. pic.twitter.com/oaC10WPGSc— Fernando 🏳️🌈 (@nandoandstitch) January 5, 2021
While The Sims has been the dominant simulation franchise for well-over 20 years, there is emerging competition in development with the most notable being Paralives. While an official release date is yet to be announced, the game has already garnered a loyal following.
Much like everyone in the real world, The Sims 4 had a challenging year in 2020. Some of the DLC released by the franchise didn’t go down too well – with the branded Star Wars pack being a particular bugbear for many.
The Sims 4 redeemed itself somewhat with the release of its tenth expansion pack, Snowy Escape, but the player base has been frequently irked by the direction taken by EA.
In the wake of the latest controversy around MAC Cosmetics x The Sims, some prominent EA Game Changers and YouTubers pointed out that these kind of wobbles aren’t something the franchise can afford much longer.
The Sims 4 will enter its seventh year in 2021, the longest-running iteration of The Sims. While there has been some speculation that The Sims 5 might be released this year, EA said last year that they expect “another strong year” for The Sims 4. Not the best start to those expectations, then.
Antoinette is a recovering journalist, having written for Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, Daily Maverick and others. She has won multiple SAB Journalist of the Year awards, across a variety of categories. She thinks it’s strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she’s playing as herself in The Sims…which she’s been doing for over 20 years.