FIFA 22 nears the end of its lifespan as players prepare for the next iteration of EA’s annual soccer simulator. However, performance statistics show that only four percent of female players have played a women’s soccer game in the game’s 10-month lifespan.
TheGamer measured this by tracking Passion success across Xbox, PlayStation and Steam. To unlock the achievement, you must “play an international women’s soccer match,” which very few players have done. 3.3 percent of players unlocked the achievement on Xbox, 4.2 percent on PlayStation according to PSNProfiles, and 3.9 percent on Steam. This equates to an average of 3.8 percent of players who have played at least one international women’s soccer game on FIFA 22. We did not include Nintendo Switch players as achievements are not available on the Nintendo console.
This trophy only measures women’s matches played in kick-off mode, either in the International Women’s Cup competition (think World Cup) or one-off friendlies, including house rules. You can play as women in two other game modes, Pro Clubs and FIFA Street’s spiritual successor, Volta. However, both modes put you in mixed-gender teams and offer a different experience than your usual FIFA fare. FIFA 22 also added Alex Scott as a co-caster in career mode, but she doesn’t appear in modes like Ultimate Team.
While more players could choose to play women’s internationals, EA could do a lot more to promote women’s football at FIFA. There are currently no national women’s teams available in the game, only the national teams. This means there is no way to start a career mode with a women’s team, and no women are available in Ultimate Team either. One could imagine that if they were included in FIFA’s most popular modes, more people would play than women.
Rival sports simulator Football Manager is currently working on adding women to its game but does not currently have an estimated time of arrival. Sports Interactive has a much more robust scouting and research system and an accurate database of player statistics and said last year that it wants to do women’s football right, rather than just releasing some old product. It’s not likely to arrive in Football Manager 23, however, as we haven’t had an update from the developer for almost a year.
FIFA doesn’t have this problem as many women are already in the game. However, if it wanted to introduce the Women’s Super League, for example, it would have to add many more players. That’s something EA should be used to though, as FIFA 22 introduced the Indian Super League and new teams are regularly added to the game in its yearly installments.
EA could promote women’s football in FIFA by including a league like WSL to allow players to play in domestic matches as well as internationals. This would also open up the possibility of career modes for women, although the fact that transfers work differently in women’s football would cause a little more work than it first appears.
Sports Interactive says it intends to allow coaches to switch between men’s and women’s clubs so Jurgen Klopp could manage the newly promoted Liverpool women or Sarina Wiegman and Emma Hayes could take on the Premier League title race. That seems like a lot to ask of FIFA, which doesn’t even have the Women’s Super League right now, but if EA really wants more players to play women’s games, it needs to give them equal importance in gameplay.
Next: Why I don’t play FIFA 23