NBA Live 18 Will Be First Basketball Video Game To Feature WNBA Players

August 3, 2017  |  

Growing up, playing NBA Jam, NBA Live and NBA 2K with my brother and friends, you were only able to take the court as your favorite male players. WNBA players were never incorporated into these popular games, and to be honest, you could barely see them in the fake audience in some. But with all of the advancements in NBA games over the years, including how lifelike the players look thanks to facial scans, things could change and had to. Finally, they are.

Skylar Diggins WNBA video game

Photo by Anthony J. Causi/Splash

According to ESPN W, EA Sports game NBA Live 18 will have a WNBA Play Now mode, which means for the first time ever, people will have the opportunity to play a basketball video game as a woman, specifically, their WNBA player of choice.

The game is set to be released at the end of the year and will feature all 12 of the WNBA teams and current team rosters in their entirety. That means you will get to play (and sometimes dunk) like Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird. NBA Live, which is rivaled by the likes of the popular NBA 2K, will be the only video game franchise with this feature.

EA Sports is hoping that by incorporating the WNBA in the Live 18 version, it will be good business. It should be considering they found through research that a lot of gamers wanted to have the chance to play as both men and women.

“We’ve found that through research of a lot of different games in different genres that [both] men and women like playing as women,” said executive producer Sean O’Brien. “So that’s something we’re committed to moving forward.”

In future installments of the game, producers hope to give players the chance to customize female characters as has been the case with the NBA players in the franchise for years. But whether they’re playing as a customizable character or a star from the Los Angeles Sparks or the New York Liberty, everyone is just excited that representation for women is coming to basketball video games. That includes current WNBA players.

“I grew up playing pretty much any basketball video game on any system, and you envision yourself as those players while you’re playing,” said Seattle Storm star Jewell Loyd. “Now, little girls playing can see themselves.”

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