Update: NBA Live 18’s demo is available now on the Xbox Store.
EA is trying to make a comeback in the NBA video game market, which is all sowed up by 2K Games. But in order to compete, the publisher is going to have to come with more than new game modes and advanced graphics. For the first time, NBA Live 18 will feature every WNBA team and player.
Put up a 'W' in #NBALive18!
— WNBA (@WNBA) August 3, 2017
EA Sports announced the women’s professional league will be included in NBA Live 18, and will add facial scans for all high profile players through the use of motion capture. However, the WNBA currently can only be used in Play Now and online versus, with plans to extend that to the new career mode, titled The One and dynasty mode.
This inclusion is not a first for EA Sports, as the company allowed players to play with women’s national teams in head-to-head game modes in the FIFA series since FIFA 16. Female athletes have also been featured in other EA Sports titles such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NHL 12, and EA Sports UFC.
“We are delighted to collaborate and make history with EA as NBA LIVE 18 becomes the first video game to feature the WNBA’s full roster of teams and players,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “With EA’s expertise and ingenuity, the game will provide a terrific platform to showcase the players and the league, enabling fans to experience the WNBA in a new, exciting way.”
NBA Live 18 will feature a new RPG like mode called The One, where you play as your own custom character that you’ll improve into an NBA star. In addition, the game will bring back a 5-on-5 street match on real-life courts.
The game will get a demo on August 11th for both Xbox One and PS4, though that wont feature the WNBA content.