Believe it or not, the first EA Sports FIFA game was released back in 1993 on the SEGA Mega Drive. At the time, the series was known as EA Soccer before transforming into FIFA ’94. Despite the name change and evolving into the game we know today over almost 30 years, one thing remained true – no females have starred on global covers; until now, as Australia’s Sam Kerr fronts FIFA ’23 alongside Kylian Mbappé.
The fight for equality in football is huge and very real. It’s a feeling that reverberates across most sports, but given the sheer scale, global exposure, and financials of football leagues such as the Premiership, Championship, EURO, and World Cup, it cannot and should not be overlooked.
It’s a feeling that we previously touched on when discussing the women’s kits for this year’s EURO 2022 tournament. Although plenty of work remains, we’re finally witnessing a shift in perception of women’s football from all angles – more exposure, better broadcasting deals, top-tier kits, and now, the first female global cover star for the sport’s largest gaming franchise.
Joining Kylian Mbappé on the cover of FIFA 23’s Ultimate Edition as well as an alternative standard edition (only available in New Zealand and Australia), Australia and Chelsea forward Sam Kerr is making history as FIFA’s first female cover star. It’s a great stride for the sport, yet feels bittersweet, considering it’s taken almost three decades to see male and female athletes side-by-side on a cover.
Hopefully, this marks the beginning of an ongoing trend for the franchise as the fanbase for women’s football continues to grow – you need only take a look at EURO 2022 to note this upwards shift.
The latest edition of FIFA, which features Mbappé on the cover for a third year, is scheduled to release later this year on all major gaming platforms.