With the upcoming Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, fans of Nintendo's anthropomorphic town games will finally get the option to choose different skin tones for their characters.
Up until this point, the only way to change your default pale skin tone was to tan it in the sun, although this was only a temporary effect—and not terribly inclusive of the many very permanent skin tones of Animal Crossing's international audience.
Last year, during an interview with Katsuya Eguchi and Aya Kyogoku, the producer and director of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I asked whether future versions of the series might offer skin tone options. At the time, their answer was vague, noting that they wanted international players "to represent and express their individuality, so there are a variety of things we are planning on doing to facilitate that in the future."
It's great to see Nintendo finally taking steps in this direction, particularly for a game where expressing your individuality and choosing the way your character looks is so key to its appeal. Although Happy Home Designer is only a spin-off game focusing on interior decorating, here's hoping these options continue in the next full Animal Crossing release as well.