Along with viewership figures and revenue estimations, one of the most talked about topics in eSports is how the industry often fails to be inclusive to women. In addition to the abuse and harassment that female eSports players often have to deal with, there are other examples, such as that incredibly sexist Hearthstone tournament.
This is a challenge that games publisher EA, which recently announced its own plans to get into eSports in a big way, plans to tackle. In a new interview, EA’s chief competition officer Peter Moore reveals that the company will do its “best to support” female eSports players, also revealing that he’d like to see an all-women pro FIFA team.
EA Will Support Female eSports Players
Speaking to Games Industry, Moore explains:
“Well there’s two issues. How do we get female pro gamers to actually play? And then elevate them – I remember the old days of Frag Dolls, which I think Ubisoft did a nice job on – and then how you protect them? Which is a bigger challenge as they, they’re going to need to go on social media and the usual idiocy that can surround that, you know, if it’s a girl that’s talking about gaming, and just attracts bad reactions sometimes. We’re going to try to do our best to support them, I don’t think there’s anybody in the world in our space better than EA in regards to that.”
Following the addition of women’s international teams in FIFA 16 last year, Moore adds that “we all work with them, last year with the women’s teams and twelve national teams, and it’s clear in our research has attracted more female gamers.”
Moreover, the EA executive says that “you’ve got to get to the level where they want to form a team and they want to play. Then, as they get more exposed to the outside world, our job is to kind of elevate them a bit. But you know they’ve got to figure out A they want to play, and B they want to form a team.”
What remains unclear is whether EA will follow in the footsteps of Blizzard, which recently teamed up with Twitch to tackle online harassment. However, Moore will be revealing more details about EA’s eSports plans at the GamesBeat 2016 event in August so we’ll keep you posted.