Update on Women in NHL Video Games

NHL 16, Video Games
EA Sports is looking to bring more women to the NHL franchise in the future. (Photo Courtesy of IIHF_harvard)

As the growth of women’s sports continues to rise at a remarkable rate, the topic of playable women in video games continues to be a highly discussed topic among fans.

With FIFA announcing that women will be coming to the game for the very first time in the form of National Teams, the pressure is on other franchises to also have playable women characters, including the NHL franchise from EA Sports.

In an interview with NHL 16 lead producer Sean Ramjagsingh, it was confirmed that increasing the amount of female players available in the franchise is something that has been discussed quite often.

“Coming off the heels of FIFA’s big announcement this year, it’s something that we’ll continue to look at,” he said.

The NHL franchise introduced women to the game as legends in 2012 with the inclusions of Angela Ruggiero and Hayley Wickenheiser for NHL 13. Ramjagsingh said that legends will continue to be available for players in the game as they work on plans to introduce more female players to the series.

“Just like other leagues, it’s something we continue to look at,” he said. “How we want to put in a female league in the future, if that’s the path we want to go down, what would that look like? There’s also, on the tech side, lots of things we’d have to do around females specifically to meet fan expectations.”

He added: “With the rise of women’s hockey, and more and more countries becoming competitive, it’s definitely something we look at.”

It’s been learned that the inclusion of women in sports games, specifically the NHL franchise, could grow as early as NHL 17 next year. It would likely be the same situation that FIFA established, using Women’s National Teams to start. However, should the newly-formed NWHL or even the CWHL grow, they would be targets for addition in future titles.

For more on NHL 16, stick with The Hockey Writers for everything you need to know. NHL 16 releases on Xbox One and PS4 on September 15th in North America.