Thursday 18th April 2019

EA Sports Puts Men and Women on Same Court in NBA Live 19

EA Sports Puts Men and Women on Same Court in NBA Live 19

EA Sports Puts Men and Women on Same Court in NBA Live 19
Candace Parker and Jerry Ferrara high five during warm-up to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game Celebrity Game. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

EA Sports is creating a digital space where men and women can match up evenly on the basketball court.

The video game maker has announced that users will be able to create customized female players in NBA Live 19, marking this the first time users can create a female player from scratch in a basketball video game. Men and women will also now be able to face each other on the court or play on the same team. 

Female gamers will be able to scan their faces using the NBA Live Companion app and import them onto the customized player. The game will also feature some of the best talent from the WNBA, including Candace Parker of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks. Abilities in the game’s new Icon System will be modeled after some of the greatest ballers of all time, male or female.

“The inclusion of female players is an important step toward leveling the playing field, providing gamers increased opportunities to express their unique individuality and create a reflection of themselves while competing in the game,” said EA Sports in a statement.

In a promo video announcing NBA Live 19, Parker reflected on her time as a street player, and how being a woman meant she always had to prove herself with her ball handling.

“I always had basketball in my blood. The first time I would go I’d get picked last. And then by the next time I’d be picking the teams,” said Parker. “I think it’s just about being allowed to play, and being open to it.”

Last year for the release of NBA Live 18, EA Sports added a full roster of WNBA teams and players for the first time.  

SportTechie Takeaway

Women are still fighting for an even playing field across sports—and being able to match women against men in NBA Live 19 is a step in the right direction. This could potentially inspire young girls to believe that they can (and should) compete on the same court as men, just as Parker did when she was learning to play.

NBA Live 19 is not the same game used by the NBA for its esports league NBA 2K. That game, made by Take-Two Interactive, does not yet allow players to make or use female players. The NBA 2K as a league, however, has said that it is open to including women gamers, though none were drafted for the inaugural season.


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