Continuing efforts to include more women in sports in its video games, EA Sports, the world’s most popular sports videogame franchise, has announced that WNBA teams will be “playable” in its NBA Live 18 release, launching this fall. This will be the first time the women of the WNBA will appear in a video game.
You may recall two years ago, EA Sports brought women’s teams to its games when they introduced FIFA 16, which included 12 national soccer teams. Visibility and inclusiveness in gaming is more important than ever, and this is definitely a step in the right direction. We’re so excited for the women and girls who love basketball and love gaming to be able to finally see their image and likeness on a game console… “if you can see it, you can be it!”
NBA Live 18 gamers will be able to choose from all 12 women’s WNBA teams, and can expect to see “player skills that have been specifically balanced to reflect the unique playstyle of the league and skills of its players.” To incorporate the players, EA Sports conducted head scans of many WNBA stars, including Maya Moore, Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles, Allisha Gray, Chelsea Gray, Jonquel Jones, and Alyssa Thomas, and held motion capture sessions with 2017 WNBA Draft first overall pick, Kelsey Plum, among others. EA has said they will continue to scan year round until they get all of the players.
“The WNBA is home to some of the most incredible athletes on the planet, and we’ve been working hard to integrate them into our game in an authentic and meaningful way,” Sean O’Brien, the game’s executive producer, said in a statement. “This is only a taste of what we have in store, and look forward to working with the league on more great integrations in the franchise in the future.”
The game will be available worldwide this September for Xbox One and PlayStation4. In the meantime, here’s a preview…