Sections

EA's FIFA 16 adds female players

And COO fights back against sexist complaints

Electronic Arts is adding the Women's National Teams to football franchise FIFA for the first time, much to the horror of sexists on social media. Now EA COO Peter Moore has stepped in to condemn the negative reactions.

Germany, USA, France, Sweden, England, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, China, Italy and Mexico teams will all be available and featured players include Canada's Christine Sinclair, USA's Alex Morgan, and England's Stephanie Houghton.

"It is such an honor for women's players and our team to be included in FIFA 16. I always wondered what it would be like to see our team in the game and it is very cool to know that it is now a reality," Morgan, an Olympic, WPS and NWSL champion.

More stories

PlayStation and Facebook cancel GDC appearances citing coronavirus concerns

UPDATE: Kojima Productions also pulls out, cancelling founder's talk

By Christopher Dring

UK Charts: Bayonetta and Vanquish return to Top Ten

Half-Term sales boosts Team Sonic Racing, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Forza Horizon 4

By Christopher Dring

Latest comments (26)

Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 4 years ago
Just as I thought. Not a single person cares. Complaining is one thing: we all love to write endless strings of articles and "critique" when the truth is we are just expressing outrage about our personal values being offended (as if that somehow constitutes either a story or a moral quandary), but when it comes time to accept the bullet suddenly everyone is exceptionally quiet. I wonder how GI's readership is going to wriggle their way out of this one?

Face it people, you're getting exactly what you want and it's killing you to know you can't complain about it. Guess all that "critical" practice didn't prepare people for this, eh?

But hey, I guess it's easy to quote a few people who are upset (or possibly just joking about being upset) over the situation. After all, you can't stick reams of silence into a quote box or display untweeted tweets. That wouldn't be a story now would it?

And here's the funny thing: For once there IS a story to see and the ones saying "move along, nothing to see here" are doing it with deafening silence. Well, sod that and sod those commenters. I think this inclusion is a good thing. There, I said it.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 28th May 2015 8:30pm

8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
I think this inclusion is a good thing.
Yarrrr! :)

Unrelated to that...

Does anyone else find the timing of the announcement more than a little coincidental?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 28th May 2015 8:45pm

3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
It's nice to see a behemoth like the FIFA series making a decisive move towards parity of representation and esteem! I'm not a football fan of any stripe, but the news has really excited some of my friends who pay more attention to the sport than I do :)
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (26)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
@Morville: Oh, it's DEFINITELY "coincidental" for sure. ;D " What corruption scandal? We got LADIES in the game next year!"

Of course, given how actual female players are treated (forced to play on painful artificial turf while the guys get grass to romp on!), I'm gathering FIFA needs any good news it can scrape up with so much happening (and more to come it seems).

Well, as long as none of the game makers get caught up in the nets it's all good for fans who've wanted this addition.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alex Bunch Proof Reader, ZiCorp Studios4 years ago
Having a few years ago bought into the hype around womens football and then watching the World Cup and European Championship the lack of coordination the ladies had was staggering! It was so frustrating to watch as easy through balls were mishit or the receiver of the ball completely fluffed getting it under control. In the end I had to switch it off. NONE of this is ever mentioned in the press or tv due to a fear of bursting the bubble and good old political correctness.
Counter womens footy with the Netball my mum played and internationals I've seen and that is an incredible game of passion, skill and strategy. Such a shame that doesn't get the recognition it's due.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
I think this is the inevitability of our industry. There was a time when certain developers were afraid female lead games wouldn't sell well. And there was a time when the majority of major game franchises wouldn't even let you use a female avatar but those days are fast dying off and that's a good thing indeed. I remember how long it took Call Of Duty to add female avatars even though other series(Halo, Battlefield, Gears of War) were already adding them in. In ten years this will just be another footnote in video game history.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
I don't play any sports games but really thought female teams were already there. Am I thinking the Konami series or do they not include female teams either?

And people are really complaining about this?
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Coote Independent Game Developer 4 years ago
I have heard rumors you won't be able to play mens team vs womens team, which would be disappointing. Still, progress!

I think the 2012 Olympics really helped raise the profile of women's football in the UK as it showed that at the very top level at least, that high-quality women's football could pack out 80,000 seater stadiums and command a TV audience. There's definitely been a higher profile given to women's football by the BBC in the years since.

Compare and contrast to Tennis, which came up in a recent debate in the context of (gender inequality in) eSports. Whilst there's still a significant gap between men and women in Tennis, at least they appear at the same tournaments, on the same courts with close to equal billing. There's also the mixed doubles format which cuts right across the gender divide. It's an interesting aside that in what for my money has been an era of some of the greatest tennis players ever to compete, there hasn't been a FIFA type yearly games franchise of any significance. We'll never know the controversy over whether the retail box for the latest ATP (or whatever) tennis game features Federer or Serena.

Going back to the football, my gut instinct is that partly for the right reasons and partly for financial reasons, the male dominated football world does want to redress the gender imbalance in the game. But that the sheer level of ignorance invariably leads to foot-in-mouth moments, and whilst they seem to have (thankfully!) avoided it this time, we're in prime territory for such occurrences to happen as EA fill out the women's side of the game in years to come.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Peter Moore Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts4 years ago
"Unrelated to that...

Does anyone else find the timing of the announcement more than a little coincidental? "

Morville.I am assuming that you are referring to the 2016 Women's World Cup, pitting together the best national teams in the world, which begins next week. Or maybe you were unaware of that?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Peter Moore on 29th May 2015 2:45am

23Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
Or maybe you were unaware of that?
Ahahah... Yeah, you got me. I totally didn't know that was happening (I'm not a huge fan of football, men's or women's).

Well, that explains that.

:p
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany4 years ago
They really took their sweet time with this, considering the more teams you add to a football game the better.
Good news, nonetheless.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 4 years ago
I'm just waiting for the next Sarkessian video which shows how misogynist gamers are when they hack down a female player who's through on goal with a male character. Or how sexist EA are that the female player stats aren't as high as the male players.
This wouldn't surprise me at all. "That" group of people already complained when the assassin's creed series added female playable characters, claiming things like how it was just pandering, etc. You can't win.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Watson on 29th May 2015 9:58am

4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
I can't believe EA missed the chance to sell 2 versions of FIFA, men's and women's football. Corporate commander must be kicking himself with some intensity at this moment! :D
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany4 years ago
@John
I'm just waiting for the next Sarkessian video which shows how misogynist gamers are when they hack down a female player who's through on goal with a male character. Or how sexist EA are that the female player stats aren't as high as the male players.
No offense, But those anticipating it with this kind of comments are not very different. (and a bit judgmental sometimes)
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 4 years ago
12 Teams, right?
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, USA.

So EA "forgot" to put in the current World Champion Japan? Hilarious.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Peter Moore Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts4 years ago
"12 Teams, right?
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, USA.

So EA "forgot" to put in the current World Champion Japan? Hilarious...."

Or maybe, as most informed members of the industry are well aware, the JFA rights are not currently available.
15Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Berg Games User Researcher, EA Canada4 years ago
For those wanting more info:
https://www.easports.com/fifa/women

Women's national teams will compete exclusively with other women's national teams. I'm looking forward to kicking some butt with Sinclair and the rest of the Canadian squad :)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online4 years ago
Love the fact that Peter's commenting in here. :-)

And so puzzled about the complainers. It's not like male teams are going away - it's free added content. That seems to be optional too - I don't have to unlock the male players by playing the female ones first, right? ;-)

All in all: well done.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
For every 1 misogynistic male gamer that now refuses to purchase the game, EA gains 2 women that now feel included and will purchase the game.


Source: Totally made up stats that just sound good but have some ounce of truth to them.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
Source: Totally made up stats that just sound good but have some ounce of truth to them.
If an official job title(analyst) can get away with it than so can you, except you'll probably be a little more accurate than them.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Shehzaan Abdulla Translator/QA 4 years ago
Hmm. There's a running trend with every article of this type I've seen. None of them just report the news, or have any focus on the actual, you know, GAME. Rather they focus on people and a supposed backlash. In this case using one quote that has no context and from a Twitter user who's posting history we can't see (great job there guys! Real thorough investigation. Give yourself a pat on the back and a raise whilst your at it. Assuming you haven't already. GI is and continues to be the shining beacon of quality journalism).

Now, I'm not FIFA expert. But I'm under the impression that each yearly addition is quite iterative, with new features here and there. Wouldn't that make the inclusion of womens teams (which likely requires the modelling of many, many players) the biggest iterative undertaking in pretty much the franchises entire history? Seems like there's story there that no one's reporting.

Don't look at me though. I don't care: It's FIFA. I don't play FIFA.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shehzaan Abdulla on 30th May 2015 9:33pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
Wouldn't that make the inclusion of womens teams (which likely requires the modelling of many, many players) the biggest iterative undertaking in pretty much the franchises entire history? Seems like there's story there that no one's reporting.
I think that's actually more a "PR story that no one's reporting", than a genuine "news story that no one's reporting". Whether or not you believe the "misogynistic uproar" is generated or real, implying a site should effectively say "Oh, go on EA, tell us more about all the new features in the latest iteration of your franchise" is not necessarily requesting a news story about a game.

Edit to add:

It also amuses me that for some time the industry has striven for more realism, for example in graphics (both gory and not) and physics (bullet, ball, car, water, etc). Few would argue either are really relevant enough for an article. But women's teams in an official football game? Damn! That's a step-into-realism too far for misogynists, and potentially news-worthy for others.

Videogames man.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 31st May 2015 10:16am

4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Maged Hamdy Studying Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology4 years ago
I think Fifa is going to sell a crapload of copies either way. Hell, you're not even going to convince Saudi Arabia not to buy Fifa. 16 million people bought the game last year and one angry little tweet isn't going to sink that ship.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany4 years ago
@John Owens:
Sorry. I tent to expect serious comments from Gamesindustry.biz. My bad ;)
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Silly little me asks: do women play against men in the actual sport of PROFESSIONAL football? Using Street Fighter (or any fictional fighter) is a bad comparison even though we're talking videogames at the end of the day. A better comparison would be similar real sports titles (or ANY sports title for that matter) that had actual players. One good example would be say, a racing game that didn't allow female drivers when there are a more than few in the sport already racing on the same tracks as men.

That and the men play on grass but the ladies have it rougher because FIFA in making them play on artificial turf (I have no idea why as that stuff is hell on the body if you do any sliding or make other skin contact with it).

Now, if you have an actual women's vs. men league happening...
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
@Eric: yeah, I figured FIFA would let players do what other sports games do on that versus front, but you have to get those fantasy play fans in or else. Amusingly enough, I was going to make a MMA reference and raise that same point you did. One inherent (and silly) problem would be the ton of VouTube videos made by folks just beating up on a female fighter with a character well out of her class just because they're exercising their freedom of whatever that sort of thing is called. :P

Of course, tennis has mixed doubles and other less elbow to the face sports seem to do well with both sexes playing together. Of course, at the end of the day game makers don't need to listen to complaints and sexist griefers even if they make up the biggest share of the buying audience. the should just say outright if you don't like an added feature... don't use it! The rest of the game will be just fine and those digital ladies won't miss you hurling insults at them.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.