EA had been hyping its big announcement for FIFA 16 for a while, and I was expecting something game-changing, something ‘revolutionary’ in the world of simulation football. But, instead, it announced that it would be releasing a game mode enabling you to play as women’s international teams. For me, this is a big cop-out for a few reasons.
Firstly, why is this a big announcement? Like EA has just invented sliced bread? If anything, it’s pretty appalling that it’s taken it this long to get women into the FIFA series. This should have been done years ago, considering that we’ve had over two-decades worth of games from the series. Secondly, why is it such a small gesture? We can now play as just a few international teams – no club sides, and only 12 international sides. I know for a fact that there are more than 12 international women’s teams – so why such a small showing? For me, it feels like EA is either doing it as a novelty gesture, or it’s put in minimal effort to see how people respond to the changes. If we want real change as to how some people view women in football, you need to go guns blazing, full hog, all out. You can’t half-arse it – go hard or go home. Finally, I feel as though EA has made a big deal out of this because, potentially, little else is going to be changing in the actual game this year (as little ever really changes).
Over the past few years, FIFA has changed very little. We’ve had a few minor changes which were supposed to ‘revolutionise’ the game, but overall the changes have been insignificant, unnoticeable or unnecessary. Like, for instance, this year’s “Realistic Goalkeepers” who spend more time diving the wrong way, missing the ball or parrying shots back to the opposition than they do anything else… apart from picking the ball up out of the back of the net, that is. I get the feeling that EA knows that we’ve realised the changes have been lack-lustre, so it’s trying to make waves someway else. Other than Ultimate Team, the game-modes have stayed relatively similar over the past few instalments. Pro-Clubs, for example, hasn’t changed a bit in almost four years.
I would have been impressed if EA brought in some of the top-leagues in women’s football, or at least a World Cup’s worth of international teams – considering that the Women’s World Cup is just around the corner. But instead I just feel a little embarrassed that A) it took them this long and B) the effort seems pretty minimal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased that they’ve finally introduced women’s teams, and I’m hoping that this is the start of something big for the game – I’m just surprised that it has taken them this long. What I want to see is an overhaul of the game, mostly of the little features like the player creation (which hasn’t seemed to have changed since, like, 2008), or of the Career Mode, for example. Perhaps we’ll be seeing more changes at E3, maybe the introduction of women’s international teams is just a taster of what’s yet to come. I sure hope so, at least.
What do you think of their big announcement? Are you pleased to see women’s teams coming to FIFA 16? Let me know in the comments below!