The video game has gone hand in hand with the beautiful game for four decades, but women’s football was conspicuous by its absence – until recently. Now, with the growth of the game, the world is at their feet and within easy reach. Here we bring you a brief history of women’s football within the industry and where it is heading …
The FIFA franchise, developed by EA Sports, is the biggest title in the world, with tens of millions of people winning the title every year. Last year, EA said more than 30 million people played the game, but this year that number is expected to be exceeded. nine million players had taken the virtual land within a week of its release.
In the 1980s, International Soccer first brought a faithful representation of the game to the Commodore 64, before the original Football Manager was released on 8-bit computers. Since then, interest in digital versions of the game has grown, with some even moving away from more traditional forms of football.
Some titles even take football as a theme and adapt it to other genres. For example, Gala Casino includes online slots titles, such as First Person Football Studio and Top Trumps Football Stars on their site. These lean heavily on football, but without getting you into the action. Another title is Puppet Soccer Champions which looks more like Street Fighter than a soccer game, with bonuses and comedic depictions of real players.
However, what ran through all of these titles was that the developers had mostly ignored women’s football. Now, however, things are changing, as not only have we previously noted on the offside rule that the game has outgrown the crowds, but game developers are actively understanding it as well.
Mia Hamm Football
The first game with a female player on the cover was endorsed by one of the sport’s greatest icons at the turn of the millennium, Mia Hamm. The two-time World Cup winner was chosen as the star of the game, Mia Hamm Soccer 64, released for Nintendo 64. It was released simultaneously with Michael Owen World League Soccer, and outside the graphical representations of the female-like players. . , the gameplay was identical. With 32 international teams and 18 teams made up of the American League, there was a lot to do but, in truth, the gameplay let it down somewhat.
FIFA 16 – FIFA 22
When FIFA 16 introduced the game to women, it was huge to see EA using motion capture to accurately represent women, with Alex Morgan among the four players whose actions were digitally recreated. Since then, women have had an increasing influence on the title, but it wasn’t until the last iteration that we saw the most significant inclusion of women in FIFA to date. While National Teams are still not playable in the game, the inclusion of creatable players to add to Pro Clubs Mode has been a real plus, as noted by Eurogamer.
While women are not yet in the latest version of the game, Sports Interactive aims to bring women’s football to the biggest management title in the world. While women were able to control and manage the male game, the female game was not included. With the necessary level of detail, that’s why it takes so long to see the intro. However, it’s great to hear the developer’s intentions to bring the world’s most important women’s leagues into the game alongside their male counterparts. This prompted Chelsea boss Emma Hayes to comment that it is a good and huge sign for the sport.
Overall, it’s a real plus to see women included in such an important area of popular culture, which previously had only a fleeting interest in women’s football. But what’s even more important is that there are all signs that women will be just as important in football as their male counterparts in the near future.