After more than two decades, the players and 12 teams which make up the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association (or WNBA) will make their official video game debut this December in Electronic Arts’ NBA Live 18.
It’s a notable effort to expand and diversify the roster of players in the game, though the WNBA teams and players (many of whom reportedly sat for facial capture at EA Tiburon) won’t be playable in any of the game’s career modes or pittable against NBA teams.
“It’s a great partnership and it expands the options available in the product, and it’s the stepping stone to, probably, some cool implementations with female characters going forward in the game,” senior producer Mike Mahar told Polygon. “Future iterations on how they will appear in the product, that will be added later.”
As Polygon notes, this is a first for the NBA games but not for the EA Sports publishing brand, which has previously included women players and teams in its FIFA 2016 and 2017 games.