In a move that seems like it should have happened by now, EA has announced that FIFA 16 will feature women players. When the game releases on September 25, players will be able to take control of 12 international teams: USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, China and Australia. For comparison, FIFA 15 featured 50 international men’s teams as well as 30 men’s leagues, each with more than 10 teams.
“For us, it was more about getting the most of the best players,” said producer Nick Channon. “The international women’s game is big. Obviously that’s where the best players are. We wanted to start there.” A large portion of top women soccer players in FIFA 16 have been scanned and motion captured for their in-game avatars, such as Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. For these digital models, EA Sports wanted to “do it properly and not just put a woman’s head on a man’s body.” The women players will have “unique bodies based on a female body type.
Interestingly, women’s teams won’t be able to play against men’s teams. According to Channon, this is to preserve the “authentic” nature of the game. That argument loses most of its power when you remember that you can have a matchup of Manchester v Manchester, but maybe soccer has cloning machines no one knows about. Women’s teams are confirmed playable in most, though not all game modes of FIFA 16. You can play as a women’s team in Kick Off, Match Day, Offline Tournament, Skill Games, and Online Friendly Matches, though you won’t see them in ultimate team modes or career modes.
If nothing else, this will be a step in the right direction when FIFA 16 comes out in late September of this year.