Amid 14 officials' indictments for corruption charges and allegations of labor abuse as Qatar gets ready to host the 2022 World Cup, FIFA has run into some trouble as of late. So here's some good press for an organization that desperately needs it.
The latest installment of FIFA's video game franchise, FIFA 16, will feature female players for the first time in the franchise's history, Electronic Arts Inc. announced Wednesday. The game will include players from 12 national women's teams including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
Players will be able to play as these women's national teams in several but not all of FIFA 16's game modes, including Kick Off, an Offline Tournament and Onine Friendly Matches. There are no women's ultimate team modes or career modes, Polygon reports. Male and female teams will also not be able to play against each other.
EA performed a motion capture session at its Canada headquarters U.S. women's team players Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe to recreate the appearance and movement of the players in the game. FIFA 16 will also feature Canada's Christine Sinclair, England's Steph Houghton and Australia's Stephanie Catley.
Considering the first FIFA Women's World Cup was held in 1991 and FIFA launched its first video game two years later, fans have been wanting women added to the franchise for a while. As Polygon points out, a 2012 Change.org petition asked EA to include women in the FIFA franchise. Adding female players to these video games has actually been under consideration for some time, the series' vice president and general manager David Rutter told The Guardian, which is something he also mentioned to Kotaku in 2013.
This news comes a little more than a week before the FIFA Women's World Cup is set to kick off in Canada on June 6. The World Cup will feature 24 women's teams from around the world, including 11 of the 12 to be featured in FIFA 16.
FIFA 16 hits stores Sept. 22 in North America.