Electronic Arts (EA) announced today that they will be including female athletes as playable characters for the first time ever in NHL 13. Alongside such NHL legends as Doug Gilmour, Dominik Hasek and Jari Kurri, players will also be able play the game as Team Canada gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser and four-time US Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero.
“With the release of NHL 12 we added generic female characters in our Be a Pro mode based on a request from a 14-yr old female fan who emailed our staff because she felt underrepresented as a hockey videogame fan,” said Dean Richards, General Manager, NHL, EA SPORTS. “This year we are very excited to continue our effort of creating a more representative experience for female hockey fans by adding two of the greatest female athletes to ever play the game in Wickenheiser and Ruggiero to NHL 13.”
This change marks a huge step in the lucrative sports video game market, recognizing not only female gamers as a key market but also the great importance that women’s hockey has in our world today.
Hayley Wickenheiser echoed this sentiment as well. “I’m excited to be a part of NHL 13 and hope that the addition of women’s hockey legends will encourage greater participation in hockey from young women everywhere.”
While it is still unclear as to whether we will see an NHL hockey season this year, NHL 13 hits the shelves on September 11.