Members of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) recently spoke out about their video game depictions that were added to the newest version of FIFA.
In early March, the league announced a partnership with video game makers Electronic Arts and the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association. The collaboration was designed to integrate all 12 NWSL teams into the popular game. “These partnerships are an important part of EA SPORTS’s ongoing commitment to elevate and authentically represent the women’s game,” EA Sports said at the time.
During the initial announcement, Jessica Berman, NWSL Commissioner, expressed nothing but positive opinions in relation to the collaboration.
“The NWSL’s integration into EA SPORTS FIFA 23 is a monumental milestone for the league, the players, and millions of football fans around the world as we continue pushing boundaries for the women’s game,” she shared. “The athletes that call the NWSL home are some of the best in the world, and we’re excited for the opportunity to further showcase their talent through this unique gaming experience.”
However, since the game’s release, the NWSL openly critiques the designs that were released for not being authentic to the real team.
“I know you expect women to just be thankful and grateful that you’ve given us a little sliver of publicity but please stop wasting our time,” Angel City FC forward Sydney Leroux wrote on Twitter. Noting that the character designs were widely inaccurate, she added “some of us are bald.”
More NWSL players come forward to discuss odd video game characteristics
Expressing similar sentiments, Portland Thorns FC Janine Beckie openly critiqued her video character’s depiction. Taking to Twitter, she posted a side by side comparison of her versus the character she was modeled after and sarcastically stated, “Found my long lost twin! Fraternal obviously.”
The problem was especially shocking when considering EA Sports announced the game would have a delay due to technical issues. They explained, “Due to an issue encountered during testing of our latest Title Update, we can confirm that the NWSL and UWCL will now be available in FIFA 23 by March 23.” But, the launch was still largely surprising.
Although the video game launch was disappointing for some of the women on the national team, the girls will have something to laugh about when the kick off this week for the league’s 11th campaign, with all 12 teams in action.
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