Women's football has a reason to cheer with EA Sports announcing that the upcoming version of its popular game Fifa 16 will feature 12 international women's teams. The move comes 22 years after the first 'Fifa International Soccer' game was released in 1993.
Although female video game characters are not new - Lara Croft being the first to come to mind, this is the first time that participants get to choose to be female football players. This can be a refreshing option for women, considering that they constitute approximately 48% of all gamers, a study revealed in 2014.
Watch: Fifa 16 trailer featuring women's teams for the first time
Fifa's official website reportedon May 28, "The development team responsible for FIFA 16 meticulously researched player movement and likeness to authentically recreate 12 top women's teams."
The announcement prompted a lot of reactions from fans worldwide expressing their delight and surprise at the announcement. Many took to twitter to point out the irony of how women's football was progressing in the right direction while the world's most popular game's parent governing body was steeped in rumours of bribery and corruption.
If women are gonna be in Fifa 16 I think that's great, would really get women's football on the radar— Nik (@joemonica_) May 28, 2015
However, all reactions were not rosy. The news attracted sexist comments as well.
It's all well and good having women's teams on FIFA 16 but when your star player gets subbed because she left the oven on you'll be pissed— Simon Dawkins (@simondawkins23) May 28, 2015
Yet, the move is sure to boost to the game, especially as Women's Fifa World Cup will kick off in Canada on June 6 this year.
Abby Wambach, American national football team player and Olympic gold medalist, told Fifa, "We're all excited to see ourselves in the game, but even more excited to see the reaction from all of the fans, including the fans of our team that maybe wouldn't be expecting something like this from EA Sports."
The game will allow women's teams to exclusively play each other and is expected to release in North America on September 22, 2015. It will be available on PCs, Xbox (One and 360) along with Play Station 3 and 4.