Following the United States women’s national soccer team’s stunning World Cup victory over Japan, Electronic Arts has announced that for the first time a woman will appear on the cover of its popular soccer video game franchise. Alex Morgan, forward of the women’s championship team will join FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi on the cover of FIFA 16 in the United States. Meanwhile, Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair will appear on versions sold in Canada.
“It’s a really great honor to be on the cover of the game,” Morgan told USA Today. “It’s something I played, and my husband played in college. It’s going to tremendously help the women’s game in creating more awareness.”
“This year’s World Cup showcased the unbelievable talent and skill in women’s soccer,” said Sinclair in EA’s press release. “I’m thrilled that EA Sports is celebrating female athletes in FIFA 16. To be featured in the game and to promote women’s soccer with Alex is really special and another exciting step for women in sports.”
Matching the game’s cover to its contents, FIFA 16 will also be the first game in the series to include playable women, EA announced during its E3 press conference in June. Twelve national women’s teams will be included at launch: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S. Note that the list does not include Japan, so you will not yet be able to replicate the USWNT’s recent World Cup victory. In addition to women’s teams, FIFA 16 adds more defensive systems and midfield options, as well as a new mode called FIFA Trainer that will help both new and experienced players hone their skills.
FIFA 16 will be available on September 22 in North America for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC (via EA’s online service, Origin).