As the growth of women’s sports continues to rise at a remarkable rate, the thought of women being a major part of sports video games continues to be a talking point among fans everywhere.
So far, EA Sports’ FIFA soccer franchise is the only game to make somewhat of a larger effort to feature women in a more prominent role with the inclusion of national women’s teams, but it hasn’t gone much further than that.
The NHL franchise first introduced women to the game as legends in 2012 with the inclusions of Angela Ruggiero and Hayley Wickenheiser for NHL 13. Since then, however, inclusion has been slow to grow with the only real feature being the ability to create a female character in the creation zone.
NHL 18 lead producer Sean Ramjagsingh says that the team at EA Sports Vancouver continue to work towards featuring women more in the series, but it won’t be a part of this year’s title.
“We still have the female character you can create in the creation zone,” he said. “Nothing new there for NHL 18 right now, but, just like every year, we evaluate all of the leagues out there – male and female – and look for the right opportunities.”
Ramjagsingh added that the team is continuing to work on adding national teams and women’s leagues like the NWHL and CWHL “especially with female hockey becoming more and more prominent”.
A source confirmed to Sports Gamers Online that plans began back in 2015 to start adding women’s teams to the game, but they don’t want to just add teams that can only be played in “Play Now” games. The goal, the source said, is to allow women’s teams to be a part of main modes like tournaments and seasons.
NHL 18 launches on September 15 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Those who preorder the game’s deluxe edition will gain access to the game three days earlier on September 12.