FIFA 16 is to introduce female players for the first time.
The newest installment in EA Sports’ series will feature 12 international teams – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the USA.
FIFA VP and GM David Rutter told IGN that the introduction has been discussed internally over the last couple of years.
“It’s come about in a bunch of different ways. We’ve been chatting about it in the game team for a couple of years now. As you may or may not know, there’s been petitions to have women put into the game, and I’m lucky enough to be the father of two amazing little girls, and both of them play FIFA a lot. They consistently pester me [about] why they can’t play as women.
“We’ve always felt that there were things that needed to be done in the game that were more pressing – making passing work, or shooting etc. – but the fact of the matter is that the tools and the technology that we have on the game team now is at a level where you can really do the authenticity of the women’s game justice.”
Rutter also revealed that EA started from the bottom up when it came to animating the female players, giving them equally as much attention as their male counterparts in previous games. Basic player movement, right the way up to celebrations following a goal, have been meticulously worked on.
“We’ve flown our head capture team around the world to capture the faces and the heads of the athletes, [and] they’ve been treated in exactly the same way as Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City. We rebuilt the animation rig to support the different dimensions and proportions of a woman’s body and then applied that motion capture skeleton to those very believable bodies to make sure that the standing, walking, jogging, sprinting, passing, shooting, is actually women animation rather than male animation.”
“We’ve even gone so far as to rejig the physics on our hair to make sure that the ponytails are more believable. And one of the side effects of that is that it’s actually rolled into the men’s side of the game as well, so male players with long hair look a lot better now.”
FIFA 16 is released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC on 22 September.