EA Sports’s NHL 22 has added ten playable international women’s hockey teams in its newest update, making it the first game in the history of the NHL franchise to include women’s hockey teams. A huge and highly anticipated update for NHL 22 was released today, including many new patch updates, such as fixing some gameplay issues, adding more content to the World of Chel, and more. You can read the patch notes here.
However, the biggest addition that came with the new update is the inclusion of International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) women’s teams due to a partnership between EA and IIHF. Today, EA announced on Twitter that the update was live, and players can now play as iconic players like Team USA’s Hilary Knight, Team Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin, and many more players from ten different international women’s teams.
Along with the announcement, EA also released a promotional video for the update on YouTube, shown below, which featured several prominent women hockey players from Team USA and Team Canada speaking about their experiences growing up with a lack of representation of women’s hockey in video games and how the inclusion of women hockey players will have a significant impact on young girls and boys.
IIHF also shared a press release regarding their collaboration with EA, where Team Canada captain Marie-Philip Poulin expressed her gratitude for being a part of the update and the impact that’ll result from the inclusion of women’s teams in NHL 22, “It has been such a privilege to lace up my digital skates for the very first time in NHL 22, and to get to do so while playing for my country makes it all the more surreal. Representation matters, and I’m thrilled that every young girl who picks up a controller to play NHL 22 can feel like hockey is a sport for her, too.”
IIHF president Luc Tardif shared his optimism for the future of women’s representation in hockey and video games, saying, “We have taken a positive step today to ensure stronger representation for women in ice hockey’s digital landscape.”
VP and GM at EA Sports Sean Ramjagsingh also commented in the press release, where he said, “The introduction of this latest IIHF content to NHL 22 continues the franchise’s evolution to reflect the growing diversity of its fanbase.”
— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) January 27, 2022
According to NHL 22‘s website, the ten women’s teams that are available to play include teams from Canada, Czech Republic (Czechia), Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and USA. These teams will be available to play in various game modes, such as Play Now, Online Versus, Threes Now, and Offline/Online Shootouts. Players can also lead any of the available IIHF women’s teams to win the Women’s World Championships in Championship mode, which features an authentic tournament structure, official visuals and rules, and much more.
The inclusion of women players in NHL 22 is a significant step to allowing young players, especially girls, to experience a more diverse representation of women in sports.