EA Sports has addressed the criticisms against the newly-added female players in EA Sports FC's 24 Ultimate Team Mode. During the official reveal livestream on July 13, EA confirmed that female players would be a part of the Ultimate Team experience and they can play alongside and against male soccer players on the pitch. EA Sports have been ramping up inclusivity across women's football and FIFA 23 also allocated resources to support women's club football.
In EA Sports FC 24 Ultimate Team players can build their fantasy team with different nationalities, leagues, and clubs. They can add players to their squads from the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Barclays Women’s Super League, National Women’s Soccer League, D1 Arkema, Google Pixel Frauen-Bundesliga, and Liga F. The move to include female players has irked some sections of the FIFA community, who have claimed that mixing men and women players is unrealistic.
'It's Something We Take Seriously', says EA's Senior VP Talking About Women in Ultimate Team in EA Sports FC 24
In an interview with IGN, EA producers John Shepherd and Sam Rivera defended their push to be inclusive. “We have a vision of connecting not just the 150 million fans we have now, but a billion fans,” said Shepherd. “We want this game and this brand, this club, this ecosystem, to welcome everybody.” Senior producer Sam Rivera said, "Ultimate Team is a fantasy mode. You don’t see Mbappe playing with all the Icons. It’s Ultimate Team — fantasy football is what’s happening there.” EA has renewed efforts to shut down sexism and inappropriate behaviour as the publisher has said that it will take steps to tackle inappropriate behaviour, sexism or racism.
“It’s something we take really seriously,” Shepherd said. “It’s an ongoing thing. It’s a constant effort. We have a team within EA that is fully focused on toxicity and understanding what’s happening in the game. We are moving to some newer systems even for this next game, where we’re using some new services to help us monitor names.”
For players who want a more “authentic” experience, Shepherd pointed to the Kick-Off mode, which lets players choose real-life clubs and rosters. EA Sports looks confident about its strategy despite comments from some of its loyalists, as reiterated by senior vice president of the brand Andrea Hopelain. “We’re on a journey. We’re on a journey with women’s football - we’ve been on the journey for a lot longer than we’ve been talking about that journey,” she told Foxsports.com.au. “It took us a while to get to the right skeleton and right rigs (for player models) ... multiple years of technology development to get to, what I call the beauty of the women’s game, which has such a different finesse and play style than the men’s game does."
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JJ is a writer for the Gaming section at Gossip.GG and brings multiple years of experience covering the gaming beat.