It's a slow road to gaining recognition for women's football – not only on the pitch but also virtually, as currently only male teams play in FIFA's video games. But it will get there says the game's executive producer David Rutter, just not in the immediate future.
Responding to an online petition to include female athletes in the EA Sports game, specifically women's national teams in the FIFA series, Rutter said 'Every year, a vast quantity of suggestions for inclusion comes into our studio. We have to whittle it down to what we can make in one year. It's a case of prioritising what needs to be done,' he explained. 'But [women in the game] is always something considered in some shape or form, and it's not to say it won't ever happen.'
Since 2011, FIFA has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide making it one of the most successful video games on the market. It is sold in 51 countries and available to buy in 18 languages, reports the petition, however none currently include any female players.
As a father of two girls, Rutter continued that he was committed to instigating the change, but it needed to be done right. 'We want to make the best fundamental simulation of football,' he said in an interview on Kotaku last year. 'The key thing about delivering on it, is that it has to be of very good quality, very high value, rather than just an acknowledgment of women in football.'
In April, FIFA announced that they wouldn't be making the changes in the upcoming FIFA 14, which will be released later in September.
FIFA 14 producer Sebastian Enrique said that 'it is something we have talked about but there are no plans at the moment.' He went on to explain to Fifa Game News that 'there are lots of things we would have to change though, like the physics would be different, it would affect collisions,' not to mention, 'new models and hair styles,' he added.
Psychologist Fernanda Schabarum who is spearheading the campaign explains in her petition, '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 videogame, 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.'
Sounds like female football fans shouldn't get their hopes up for FIFA 15...
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