EA Sports has announced today that all players and teams from the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will debut in NBA Live 18 this year.
As Polygon reports, the WNBA teams can be selected from the Play Now menu. This means that they’ll only be available for one-off play offline or online – so no career modes. Further, they can’t be played against NBA teams.
“We scanned a fairly high percentage [of faces],” senior producer Mike Mahar told the outlet. “We continue to scan year round, we’ll just continue scanning the players until we get them all.”
Mahar also hinted that after launch, WNBA players could appear in NBA Live 18’s The Streets mode; a singleplayer career which has players create their own athlete and compete in cooperative/competitive pickup games.
“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,” Mahar added. “Future iterations on how they will appear in the product, that will be added later.”
Women’s teams have also appeared in other EA Sports titles. Including FIFA 16 and FIFA 17. It appears that the WNBA won’t appear in competing product NBA 2K18, probably due to an exclusivity deal.
“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,” executive producer Sean O’Brien said in a statement. “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.”