NHL 12 to Include Female Players

NHL 12 is coming out tomorrow, but a bit of last-minute news has hit the net. Thanks to the efforts of an adolescent  female hockey player, this will be the first game in the series to offer players the chance to create and play as their own female players.

Lexi Peters is 14 years old, stands just under 5 feet tall, and has played hockey for four years. She and a teammate had previously taken the time to recreate their entire team, the Purple Eagles. Only being able to give characters long hair, she wasn’t happy with the results. “We looked like men.”

Her father urged to to write a letter, so she sent a letter to EA:

It is unfair to women and girl hockey players around the world, many of them who play and enjoy your game. I have created a character of myself, except I have to be represented by a male and that’s not fun.

The initial response wasn’t good. “They told me it couldn’t happen because it has to go through the NHL.” However, Peter Moore, the president of EA Sports, forwarded her letter to the lead producer of the game, David Littman.

In realizing his team had let down a growing audience, Mr. Littman put his nose to the grindstone, figuring out how to get Lexi (and female players in general) into the game. He worked it into the budget, and got the go-ahead from both EA’s legal team and the NHL.

Once the details were ironed out, EA Sports reached out to Lexi to tell her the good news. Female characters will be in NHL 12, and they wanted her to become the new default female character. Lexi was very excited, and so was her family. “My dad called my grandpa immediately, who called my Uncle Chris, like a chain reaction.”

It’s awesome to see the industry taking female gamers into account, even if it must be brought to attention that they’ve been left out in the cold previously. While this is a long shot from say, a WNBA game being released, it’s a step in the right direction for EA Sports. Perhaps in the future, EA Sports’ other titles will allow players to create female personas in otherwise male-dominated games. I just hope that the released screenshot isn’t indicative of how female players will look, because those are some pretty masculine facial features…

Source: The Globe and Mail

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