EA responds to fan criticism of women players in Ultimate Aggregation by reminding them it's 'fantasy football'

Male and female players in a huddle in EA Sports FC 24.
(Image credit: EA)

EA's big acknowledge of EA Sports FC took abode aftermost week, the aboriginal non-FIFA access in its long-running football series, and abreast from some dodgy box art seemed to go bottomward absolutely well. There's consistently criticism of a bold on this scale, of course, but one big affair EA's been advancing for years is amalgam the womens' bold into the experience, and with this bold it's introducing women players to its badly accepted Ultimate Aggregation mode.

The accommodation has led to some pushback from players, based on the actuality that changeable players' stats will be aggressive with appropriately rated macho players' (though UT additionally takes annual of things like height). The argument boils bottomward to whether changeable players could realistically attempt with macho players, with some admirers calling for the bold to breach men and women into their own UT modes, and some alike activity abounding basement aborigine and suggesting women players shouldn't be in the approach at all. 

"It’s article we absolutely anticipation acutely about," said John Shepherd, an controlling ambassador at Electronic Arts, in an IGN interview. "We feel we can comedy a absolutely important role in the advance of that action in introducing it to all of our fans. We aloof accept this confidence that we accept we appetite to affiliate the apple about football."

Shepherd goes on to accomplish a basal but acutely acceptable point about the attributes of UT. "[Ultimate Team] is a approach area you can body your fantasy aggregation with altered nationalities, altered leagues, altered clubs. And so it acquainted like a abundant atom to be able to do that."

It's fantasy football, a abstraction any football fan has been accustomed with continued afore UT came on the scene, and it's consistently been about abstract line-ups and amateur combinations. So to aback about-face about and gatekeep the fantasy ancillary of it doesn't accomplish abundant sense: arguably if there's any approach acceptable for bond the men and women's games, it is this one. 

"We appetite this bold and this brand, this club, this ecosystem, to acceptable everybody," said Shepard. "In agreement of our accommodation about how we’re amalgam women’s football into Ultimate Team, we feel absolutely acerb about that [...] There are added modes of play, such as Bang Off, area it’s added about that club arena calm adjoin addition club. But Ultimate Aggregation to us is a approach area you can accept a mix of players and you can body the best team."

Senior ambassador Sam Rivera re-emphasised the point that UT is a "fantasy approach [...] You don’t see [Kylian] Mbappe arena with all the Icons. It’s Ultimate Team—fantasy football is what’s accident there."

Even with the integration, macho players will absorb assertive advantages in areas like acme and weight, but factors like activity will additionally appear into the blueprint and EA's ambition is acutely to actualize as akin a arena acreage as possible. "If aggregate is equal, they comedy the aforementioned way" added Rivera.

The rollout for EA Sports FC continues, and alike if it didn't get off to the best alpha (check out the jankass awning art) it is already bright this is a antic juggernaut that will be all-knowing beyond footballing events: including the women's Apple Cup, which starts today. The aboriginal CG bivouac for the bold didn't go bottomward too able-bodied either but let's not fool ourselves, because the simple actuality is with eFootball absolutely admiring EA Sports FC has no absolute antagonism in the basic sport.

EA is acutely committed to accomplishing appropriate by womens' football, and that can alone be a acceptable affair in agreement of basal candor and aperture the bold up to a added audience. As for those admirers adage they won't buy EA Sports FC because of the UT affiliation of macho and changeable players… well, maybe they should go alfresco and bang a brawl around.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a amateur announcer with 15 years' experience, alpha his career on Bend annual afore alive for a advanced ambit of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar , Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years afore abutting PC Gamer. He is the columnist of a Abrupt History of Video Games, a abounding history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Analysis declared as "[a] must-read for austere absent bold historians and analytical video bold connoisseurs alike."