In what will likely be the only bit of positive news to feature the word "FIFA" this week, EA has announced that the upcoming FIFA 16 will, for the first time in the series' long history, feature women's teams.
Twelve women's national teams will be available to play, fulfilling what the studio calls "one of the most requested features in recent years." The full roster includes England, Germany, USA, France, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, China, Italy and Mexico.
The teams will be available to play in Kick Off, Offline Tournament, and Online Friendly Matches. Women's teams will, however, only be able to play against other women's teams. "Keeping in line with how women’s football is played in real life at this level," is how EA puts it in a Q&A (opens in new tab). That does somewhat ignore the fact that the FIFA series has always been happy to deviate from how football is played in real life—for instance, letting players pit a lowly League Two challenger against the world's best national teams.
Nevertheless, it's a good step, and an effective way for EA to demonstrate a meaningful new feature for the ongoing annual series.
“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,” said David Rutter, VP and GM of EA Sports FIFA, in a press release. “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.”
FIFA 16 is due out in September. For more details, head over to the EA Sports website (opens in new tab).