EA Sports announced in May that, for the first time ever, FIFA 16 will feature playable women's teams. Today the studio followed that up with the announcement that, also for the first time ever, female players will appear on the front of the box.
The "headliner" on the cover, across all regions, will once again be Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona. But in the US, he'll be joined by Alex Morgan, a 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and key player on the US Women's National Team that won the 2015 Women's World Cup. The Canadian release of the game will be adorned with an image of Christine Sinclair, the captain of the Canadian women's national team and one of the most prolific scorers in international competition, with 155 goals over 225 appearances to her name. And for Australia, a fan vote selected Stephanie Catley of the Portland Thorns for the cover.
"As soon as we knew Women’s National Teams were joining FIFA 16, we immediately recognized that Christine and Alex would be the perfect cover athletes based on their accomplishments and what they represent for their respective countries and the sport of women’s soccer," said David Pekush, senior manager of North America Marketing for EA Sports, who was presumably quite pleased for Catley as well. "They are exhilarating players and exude heart and courage on the pitch, and we are extremely proud to be working with them this year."
Personally, I think this is great—I mean, why not, right?—but it's no secret that stories like this don't always bring out the best in everyone. And so, a gentle reminder: As we said in the post announcing women's teams in the game, if you can't say something without being hopelessly sexist, please don't say anything at all. For further guidance, here are the rules and guidelines on comments. FIFA 16 is out on September 22 and we'll have a further hands on before then. Meanwhile, we'll have to make do with the console boxes.