For the first time in franchise history, FIFA 16 will feature 12 Women’s National teams when it launches later this year. It took EA 22 years of making football games to get to this point – it took the real-world FIFA more than 60.
Women’s National teams from across the globe – including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the United States of America – will appear in the game, representing their federations in “several” FIFA 16 game modes. Of those 12 international teams, 11 will also be appearing at next month’s World Cup finals, showing that EA really has the best of the best.
They’ll look like the best of the best, too! The regular first 11 for each squad (as well as a handful of select reserves) have been scanned into the game using exactly the same techniques as are used for the men’s teams, so you’ll see the most realistic models of real-world soccer stars like Abby Wambach (USA all-time leading scorer), Steph Houghton (England’s skipper) and Nadine Kessler (world player of the year).
David Rutter, VP and GM, EA SPORTS FIFA explains that the studio had been planning to implement the change for years:
Bringing some of the best women’s players and teams in the world to our franchise is a massive event for EA SPORTS, and we are equally excited about bringing millions of fans a new way to play. We’re making sure fans get an authentic experience when playing with Women’s National Teams thanks to our innovative player capture and reference tools, as well as the sophisticated gameplay platform which we will continue to innovate on in FIFA 16.
We don’t know the full details just yet (or why they’re not in all of the game), but can confirm that the Women’s teams will appear in both an offline tournament and online friendly matches, as well as the “Kick Off” gameplay mode. There are no plans to include male vs female matches in the game – just like there are none in the real world.
While the women’s faces are accurate, their playstyles won’t be quite so much. The team at EA realised that it couldn’t just remap the men’s moves onto the women’s bodies, but also weren’t able to motion capture all 11+ players from all 12 teams. So they did the next best thing, taking four of Team USA’s top players (Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe), and carefully capturing their movements. These movesets have been used to build new walks, runs, sprints and horizontal movements for all the players in the game. Making it a truly international affair, the player models themselves were based on the team from Soccer Canada!
Abby Wambach is more than thrilled by the women’s inclusion:
I honestly can’t believe all of the science and technology behind the game itself, let alone getting us into the motion capture suits and eventually into the game. We’re all excited to see ourselves in the game, but even more excited to see the reaction from all of the fans, including the fans of our team that maybe wouldn’t be expecting something like this from EA SPORTS.