EA Sports’ FIFA games may top the sales charts each and every year, but they are often criticised for failing to include female players. Women have been left out of the annual series despite the fact that women’s football is growing fast across the globe (in England, the women’s national team are even drawing bigger crowds than the men).
The thunderous calls for female footballers to be added to FIFA have been ongoing since one football fan started a petition which drew the attention of EA. FIFA producer Sebastian Enrique had said that although it would take an entirely new physics model, new player models and new hairstyles, while executive producer David Rutter said that they would be added to the game eventually.
At the time, Rutter didn’t clarify when “eventually” would be but now, EA has confirmed that FIFA 16 will be the first game to star playable female footballers. Find out more after the break.
FIFA 16 – Female Footballers
The reveal was made with the debut FIFA 16 trailer above and it’s the first (and only) thing we know about the game so far. EA says that 12 different women’s international teams will be featured in the game, including: USA, Germany, England, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, France, Australia, and Spain. These teams will only be able to compete against each other and they will only be able to play in the Match Day, Offline Tournament, and Only Friendly Matches game modes.
EA has also shed some light on how they added female footballer’s to the game. On the FIFA 16 announcement page, EA says that they’ve used “all-new in-game animations, 3D player modelling, and life-like head scans” so that “players will look and move just like they do during real competition”. In the screenshots, players do look just as they do in real-life, but in that trailer, female players do look slightly odd when it comes to celebrations. There are still a few months to go until the FIFA 16 release date, though, so perhaps this will be improved.
There are some other, more obvious criticisms about FIFA 16‘s inclusion of female characters, though. Namely the fact that some of the biggest names in the game are missing. The Japanese women’s national team is ranked 4th in the world and they are missing, as are Norway, Denmark, Scotland, and the Netherlands, who all rank higher than Mexico. It also would have been nice to see the likes of Nigeria in the game, with their star player Asisat Oshoala recently being named as the BBC women’s footballer of the year.
Some FIFA fans are also unhappy with the fact that female players are included in so few game modes. Including international teams (rather than local ones) makes sense right now as the women’s world cup begins next month but could they not have been included in FIFA 16 Ultimate Team? Plenty of people would jump at the chance to build a women’s international super team featuring Alex Morgan, Casey Stoney, and Marta. Alas, it is a great start and one that EA will hopefully build upon in future.
FIFA 16 will be released on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in September, 2015.