Electronic Arts announced on Thursday that its top-selling basketball game NBA Live 18 will also feature current WNBA teams and rosters. No video game franchise has ever incorporated the full Women’s National Basketball Association into a game, according to Gamespot.
“We are extremely proud to partner with the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) on this groundbreaking occasion,” NBA Live Executive Producer Sean O’Brien wrote in a press release, via Swish Appeal. “The WNBA is home to some of the most incredible athletes on the planet, and we’ve been working hard to integrate them into our game in an authentic and meaningful way.”
Gamers will now be able to choose from teams like the Minnesota Lynx, Los Angeles Sparks, and New York Liberty, with superstars like Elena Delle Donne, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Maya Moore, and Nneka Ogwumike. EA SPORTS also incorporated women into their soccer video game franchise, adding 12 national soccer teams to FIFA 16 and bringing it back for FIFA 17.
Our friends over at Polygon also learned that the WNBA’s all-star teams will also be available in NBA Live 18. And in an interview with senior producer Mike Mahar, it appears this is just the beginning for EA SPORTS as they make a run for basketball relevancy this summer.
“It’s a great partnership and it expands the options available in the product, and it’s the stepping stone to, probably, some cool implementations with female characters going forward in the game,” Mahar told Polygon. “Future iterations on how they will appear in the product, that will be added later.”
EA SPORTS still has some proving to do as it attempts to resuscitate a once dominant basketball video game franchise. But beating 2K Sports to the punch on the WNBA front is definitely a step in the right direction.