EA Sports made a fairly profound announcement for the upcoming NBA Live 18 for home consoles: for the very first time in the franchise history, the Women's National Basketball Association players and teams will be featured in the game.
According to Polygon, the outlet was informed by senior producer Mike Mahar that the inclusion of the most recent All-Star team will be available for users, and it will be possible to play in head-to-head modes against the AI, another player locally, or against other players online, using the brand new WNBA Play Now option from the main menu screen.
The WNBA feature will not carry over into the career mode, nor will you be allowed to play WNBA teams against NBA teams in mixed-gender competitive matches. Most of the top stars from the league were scanned in at the EA Sports studio, including Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, and Kelsey Plum.
According to the article, the scanning process doesn't end with the release of NBA Live 18. Mahar revealed to the outlet that the Tiburon studio will continue to head-scan WNBA players throughout the year, which likely means that we could be seeing more of them appear throughout the 2018 season, or it means that EA has plans on bringing back the WNBA mode in NBA Live 19 for next year's release.
A brief 46 second trailer was released for the game, giving gamers a look at the actual gameplay and graphics for the upcoming basketball title from EA Sports.
The Polygon article notes that EA isn't ruling out future updates or iterations where the WNBA could go against other male players from the NBA in mixed-gender matches. It would definitely make for some interesting gameplay possibilities.
The trailer doesn't show off a whole lot, but we do get to see some lay-ups, a few long-range shots, some checking, and some footwork on display. There's even a dunk at the very end before the trailer wraps up.
Mahar also mentions that the developers haven't ruled out using female basketball players in other modes, possibly hinting at a career mode in future iterations.
There will be a demo available ahead of NBA Live 18's fall launch, so if you're curious about the gameplay and mechanics, you'll be able to get in some play time with the free demo on the home consoles starting August 11th.