FIFA 16 Will Feature Women’s National Team For First Time

Women's soccer stars playable for first time.

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For the first time in the entirety of the FIFA franchise, you will be finally be able to play as the stars of women’s soccer in the upcoming FIFA 16.

Revealed today by EA Sports in a trailer (above), the ability to play as women in the FIFA series is something that has been asked for by many fans for some time now. While there are tons of women soccer teams across the world, you will only be able to play as 12 in FIFA 16: USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, China and Australia.

Series vice-president and general manager David Rutter said adding females to the game has been a long time coming and, due to modern technology. a lot of technical issues plaguing the series have been fixed.

It’s been in the pipeline for a few years, and really it was just a case of making sure that the game was in a good enough state for it the work properly. We needed to have tools and technology in place that could differentiate between men and women. Plus, we had to factor in the time and effort required for travelling around the world to scan faces and heads, record motion capture, etc. It’s been on the to-do list for a while.

The teams will be available for play in Kick Off, Match Day, Offline Tournament, Skill Games, and Online Friendly Matches. That means no career modes or ultimate team modes for the women soccer stars. The men and women teams may also not play against each other, as EA Sports tries to keep the game as authentic as possible (cross-gender contests are not a thing in pro soccer).

Some of the big changes the development team had to make was rebuilding the animation rig, in order that the skeleton underneath each player works with different proportions.

Rutter explained,

Our underlying animation system was universally based on height and build. Rather than manipulating the proportions between joint and bone, it was like stretching an elastic band. Now we’ve had to implement a new system that allows for the hips to be moved, the shoulders to be moved vertically, and the width of those bones and joints to be a factor too. It’s a pretty big change. The cool side effects are that we now have scalable skeletons, so we can also support different body types in the men’s side of the game.

There have been more obvious visual challenges too. “A large number of female athletes have long hair, so we’ve had to focus on improving that element too. Again, that enables us to improve the look of male players with similar hairstyles.”

You can check out more at FIFA 16‘s site, which has some videos with some of the stars who came in to get scanned into the game. Expect more information regarding FIFA 16 on E3 this June.

FIFA 16 will release for September 25th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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