May 282015

Women football may not get as much hype as men’s football but EA Sports is willing to give the sport a shot in the arm by introducing 12 women’s national teams in the upcoming edition of its popular football franchise.

It is the first time that women’s football teams have ever been featured in the video game, EA Sports said.

The game, set to launch September 22, will include women’s teams and players from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the US. The teams will be featured in the game’s kick-off, tournament and online friendly modes as well.

Surprised and delighted, a forward for the US women’s national soccer team, Sydney Leroux, said, “Fans had been asking for women to be in the game for a while and I think was the perfect time.”

The producers were equally enthusiastic about the game.

“It  was just nice to be involved in absolutely doing the right thing for the sport,” said vice president and general manager of EA Sports FIFA David Rutter.

He recalled that the creation of a prototype for female players had taken two years to evolve.

“It was in part a result of attempting to do the women justice rather than just putting women heads on to men players and (have them) play exactly the same.”

Highlighting EA Sports’ progress over the last couple of years towards adding women, Rutter said, “It was not a case of should we or shouldn’t we, it was more a case of when.”

He acknowledged that people were upset women had not been added to the game earlier.


Answering the the question why now?

“Now’s the right time to do it from a game perspective,” Rutter said.

Moreover, this summer’s FIFA’s Women’s World Cup, which is set to take place this year near EA Sports’ headquarters in Vancouver, also became a major consideration for the move.

He emphasised another aspect to the matter, saying FIFA already had “a large amount of women playing their video game,” so bringing women into the game itself was just one more step toward making it more authentic”.

Talking more about developing the game to incorporate women, Rutter said that they had to work hard for adding hairs of women. While noting that a vast majority of the male players did not have long hair or ponytails, Rutter said “they had to a fair amount of work to make sure they got great hair.”

Leroux was not only lucky to be in the team, but also had the chance to see what she’ll look like in the game as she sat with some of her teammates in April during a motion capture session for the game.

Expressing how she had felt, she said, “You’re gonna see little girls who wanna buy FIFA and play soccer,” adding, “I think it’s going to be huge.”

The article first appeared on The Huffington Post

The post First time ever: EA’s FIFA football game to feature women’s national teams appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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