FIFA 16 Introduces Female Footballers For The First Time


Super Elite
May 15, 2006
Wales, UK
BlakeElectronic Arts' football/soccer franchise FIFA is introducing female players for the first time. (You can see new players in action in the trailer over on YouTube.)

The sports game will feature 12 international teams (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the United States of America) when the latest instalment, FIFA 16, launches on September 22. Just as their male counterparts, female players will look and move "like they do on the pitch when representing their country".

IGN caught up with FIFA VP and GM David Rutter to find out if it's the "all-time high" interest in women's football that's spurred this latest addition to the established franchise, or if EA has been playing with the idea of bringing women into the game for some time.

"It's come about in a bunch of different ways," says Rutter. "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."

And it's not just a matter of laying female skins over male skeletons, either. As Rutter explains, if the team had "just put female faces on male players, it would've been disappointing." EA has implemented a bottom-to-top approach to ensure that the end product looks, and moves, just right – from basic player movement to celebration animations.

"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," adds Rutter. "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."

During development, representatives from Soccer Canada and the US national soccer team – Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe – visited the Vancouver studio to help build new locomotion for women in FIFA 16 including new walks, runs, sprints, and horizontal movement. They also provided 360 degree scanning-rigs and fed back on the development of the game in-process.

"We were incredibly lucky to have the US national team on site in Vancouver for a day. Hanging out with them, chatting to them, playing the game with them [...] getting their feedback was incredibly useful to course-correct on a couple of things," said Rutter.

And though some male soccer players use a visit to FIFA's studio as an opportunity to pin down tips 'n' tricks on how to beat their friends at the game, when it came to female footballers, most were more concerned about the authenticity of their portrayal, feeding back if they felt they were standing out of position, or behaving unnaturally.

If you're less keen on the women's game, however, don't panic – as you might expect, you can still choose from the usual selection of male national and international teams, and you won't be able to play women against men, either.

"It's the same way if you don't like Spanish football, you don't have to go and play with the Spanish teams. If you don't want to play with women players, then you don't have to go and play with women players," Rutter added.

"At the end of the day I'm looking at this in a somewhat selfish way. Finally my kids will stop going on at me, and nagging me about why they can't play with women players. My youngest is a fantastic soccer player and she loves it. It doesn't really compute [for them] that there wouldn't be women in the game."

And if you're wondering why FIFA opted to go with International teams rather than the celebrated Premier League, for example, there's a reason for that, too.

"It really boiled down to trying to give the fairest, broadest appeal. We could've [...] done something like that, but then it would've just restricted it to English fans, and that doesn't really make sense right now. This is a very big deal for us, something we wanna do, and do the best we can."

FIFA 16 launches on PC, Playstation 3 and 4, and Xbox 360 and Xbox One on September 22 2015.



Superior Member
Feb 27, 2012
[QUOTE="Shockwave, post: 6448615]Really happy with this. A welcome change.[/QUOTE]

Agreed. I haven't played FIFA for a few years but I might pick this one up.


May 2, 2015
Well they do release the same game every year. This is one of the first actual changes in years.

I do wish they'd actually put these various theories about attracting new players to the test though. It's pretty simple to test whether including female characters makes more female gamers actually play the game or not. My suspicion is that it makes bugger-all difference.


Selected Members Council
Staff member
Oct 14, 2013
Chillin by the poo!!
Makes me wonder why this was not done a long time ago, great addition now all the need to do it make the game decent itself, was very disappointing with 15 so traded it in after a week!


May 2, 2015
[QUOTE="Lebowski, post: 6448870]Can I physically assault women in this playing as Zidane or That Guy Who Bites People?[/QUOTE]

Lol you think Suarez bites women too? It could all be coming from a fetish he has.


Master Sage
Nov 29, 2007
[QUOTE="Teetie, post: 6448881]Lol you think Suarez bites women too? It could all be coming from a fetish he has.[/QUOTE]

Well fetishes can extend to both sexes. Saurez should be the next bad guy on The Walking Dead. He'd really do well there!