EA gauging fan interest in women's leagues for upcoming FIFA games

Electronic Arts is asking FIFA franchise fans to speak up if they hope to see women's soccer leagues included in upcoming instalments of the FIFA series, EA Sports' Matt Bilby told Polygon.

According to Bilby, EA first gauged fan reaction five years ago, asking users whether they would be interested in the inclusion of female teams; however, fans responded by saying "No, we only want to play against Barcelona" and other highly successful teams, he said.

In these last years the tide appears to be turning, Bilby continued. "There's interest in women's U.S. national teams. There's last year's big Canada versus U.S. match during the Olympics, there's the Women's World Cup taking place in Canada."

The rise of women's football in the public eye is making it "a lot likelier" we'll see women's teams in upcoming FIFA titles, said Bilby. "Fans just need to be vocal."

Earlier in the year EA was the focus of a user petition for the inclusion of female players, an attempt to "promote a healthy image and relation between women and sports."

The petition, made available via Change.org, read: "By offering just men's teams as playable options on FIFA we're not only denying these girls a chance to relate to the characters they play on a video game, but we're also wasting a great opportunity to encourage those same girls to be who they are, develop their passion, motivation and promote a healthy image and relation between women and sports."

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