WNBA stars to appear in NBA Live 18


Play like a girl!

Lace up your high tops, kids, because this fall NBA Live 18 will be the first licensed basketball game to feature WNBA stars and teams.

In a move reminiscent of FIFA 16's inclusion of twelve women's national teams, EA Sports will be including all twelve WNBA teams in this year's annual NBA franchise. Facial scans were performed on nine star players from the league, with motion capturing performed on more, to bring the professional women's league to gamers.

It's interesting to note that as of now, it looks like the WNBA will only be playable in a mode called "WNBA Play Now," which suggests it will be a quickplay game type (which again mimics the FIFA mode only allowing quickplay options). Additionally, player stats and movesets were adapted "...to reflect the unique playstyle of the league and skills of its players," according to EA.

Adapting the game to fit the female stars makes sense, but their inclusion is a bit underwhelming if it holds true that they're only available in quickplay. Hopefully this move will open more opportunities for the league by introducing it to a wider range of fans and expand their role in the games moving forward.

I have fond memories of watching the early years of the WNBA with my mother, who played basketball back in high school. It was a different game than the men's version, sure, but was ultimately no less entertaining.

Coming from that admittedly pretty limited perspective, this is a move that at least gets me talking about the game, something the series could really use. After being revived back in 2013 under the NBA Live 14 moniker, the series has had a bit of a bumpy road. Years 14, 15, and 16 earned a respective Metacritic score of 43, 59, and 59 (as opposed to the 2K series earning 85, 83, and 87 in the same span), with NBA Live 16 reportedly selling only roughly 10% of its rival, NBA 2k16. Live 17 was delayed into the calendar year of 2017, and eventually canceled, never seeing a release.

With any luck, the inclusion of the WNBA will be the boon the series desperately needs, and with even more luck, the game will be able to handle the license properly in its first inclusion into the gaming world.

A demo for NBA Live 18 will be available on PSN and Xbox Live on August 11.

WNBA Teams to Make Official Video Game Debut in NBA Live 18 [WNBA]

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Wes Tacos
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Destructoid's resident LVL 70 Tacomancer, and Community Manager. I've personally backed exactly one KickStarter/crowdfunding project: Sony's PlayStation, by Dtoid community member darrenhupke. more + disclosures



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