Monday, September 12, 2011

NHL12 Now Featuring Female Hockey Players

This is one of those little guy stories that doesn't make EA sound like pretentious a-holes, like they typically are.

A young girl from New York loves hockey and enjoys playing NHL from EA Sports. One day she wondered why there was no option to make a female character. So she wrote a letter to EA. The first response was "the NHL has to approve of it," which is true. They own the rights to their name and any changes made to the roster, including the addition of women, have to be approved. It ended up on David Littman's desk, the lead producer for the NHL franchise, and saw a need for the series to branch out.

Women in hockey is a real thing. The stats posted in the article (In 1990, there were about 5,000 women and girls playing the sport. Today, there are more than 100,000 in Canada) are quite interesting. The most recent Winter Olympics has put a spotlight on women's hockey in numbers never seen before. There is clearly an audience. Heck, I'm a hockey girl. Played street hockey with friends so it never was on a competition level, but I do enjoy watching the games on tv.

Of course the cynic in me is saying "this is EA just trying to get more money because they're hitting a new audience." But it also speaks at how the actions of one can really make a difference and age is just a number. A young girl took it upon herself to type a letter and mail it to EA Sports to at least encourage the idea of change. And it happened. Yea warm and fuzzies all around! As an extra bonus, the default female look will be the girl that wrote the letter. No creepers please. But it's good to see that EA aren't totally butt-holes all the time.

Now if we can just get them to stop harassing BioWare...

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