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NBA Live 19 brings women to its career mode

Mixed-gender games will also feature in EA Sports’ basketball series

NBA Live 19, launching in September, will allow users to create women players for the first time in series history. Female or male, players will have the same experiences in the game’s single-player career suite, “The One,” EA Sports announced today.

Female players will also be able to scan themselves into the game (using a companion app on iOS or Android mobile devices) to embark on their virtual careers. NBA Live 19 will also offer abilities and perks modeled on stars from the women’s game, such as Candace Parker, the five-time all-star for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

A news release from Electronic Arts said women players will have the same experience as men in “The One,” including building up a team, completing challenges, and earning skills, progression and gear.

Furthermore, men and women players will compete and participate on the same teams in “The One,” a rare inclusion of mixed-gender sports competition in video games. EA Sports’ NHL series allowed players to create women in the “Be a Pro” career mode back in 2011, where they could play alongside and against men. Real-world women’s professionals were added to that game’s roster the next year. But the label’s FIFA and UFC series have kept their matches single-sex after introducing women participants in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Last year, NBA Live 18 included all 12 teams of the WNBA. Developers at the time hinted at the possibility of creating female players in “The One” down the line. NBA Live 18 was most praised by critics for “The One,” in which the player takes a created character through a semi-narrative career involving professional and pro-am games.

Though the WNBA’s inclusion in NBA Live 18 was applauded — and the league was not a part of the dominant NBA 2K series last year — NBA Live 18 still barely supported it in the game’s presentation and commentary. The teams were also available only in one-game play, not longer term modes like Franchise.

NBA Live 19 launches Sept. 7 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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