WNBA fans can now live out their dreams of playing like Sue Bird or Diana Taurasi – at least in a video game.
EA’s NBA LIVE 18 is expanding its roster list to include WNBA teams, the company announced on Thursday.
“We are delighted to collaborate and make history with EA as NBA LIVE 18 becomes the first video game to feature the WNBA’s full roster of teams and players,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders in a statement. “With EA’s expertise and ingenuity, the game will provide a terrific platform to showcase the players and the league, enabling fans to experience the WNBA in a new, exciting way.”
To add the teams, the NBA Live team took headscans of some of the league’s top players including Maya Moore, Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, Sylvia Fowles, Alisha Gray, Chelsea Gray, Jonquel Jones, and Alyssa Thomas and had motion capture sessions with Kelsey Plum, the 2017 WNBA draft’s first overall pick.
“We are extremely proud to partner with the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) on this groundbreaking occasion,” said NBA LIVE Executive Producer Sean O’Brien. “The WNBA is home to some of the most incredible athletes on the planet, and we’ve been working hard to integrate them into our game in an authentic and meaningful way. This is only a taste of what we have in store, and look forward to working with the league on more great integrations in the franchise in the future.”
In the game, there’s a WNBA play mode where players can match up as different teams from the women’s league – complete with the team’s jerseys and detailed representations of the players, the Associated Press reported.
O’Brien told espnW that they’re hoping the addition of the WNBA players will be good for business and help the game compete with the more-popular NBA 2K – not only because the addition of WNBA players attracts buzz but also broadens the demographic of players.
“We’ve found that through research of a lot of different games in different genres that [both] men and women like playing as women,” O’Brien added. “So that’s something we’re committed to moving forward.” For example, three months after the launch of “FIFA 16,” the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) was the 23rd most-played team out of 600 playable teams. Forward Alex Morgan has scored…