U.S. Women's National Team forward Alex Morgan will grace the cover of the Electronic Arts (EA) FIFA 16 cover this fall. This is first time a woman has appeared on the cover of a FIFA game in North America, according to TIME.
Morgan will share the cover with superstar soccer player Lionel Messi. Canadian FIFA 16 players will see Messi and Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian Women's National Team, on their cover.
For several years people have asked EA to include women's soccer. According to TIME, EA CEO Andrew Wilson told Fortune that the delay was because the company wanted time to get the proper animation and physics right for the players.
"Football (what the rest of the world calls soccer) is now played by as many females as males and more and more girls are now playing our FIFA games," Wilson told TIME. "To not represent them in the game that they play in the real world, and the game that they play in the virtual world, doesn't make any sense."
It is unknown if Morgan's appearance will help drive sales for the game, as success in sales for the game is typically driven by how interested people are in soccer at the time.
"I think it's a good marketing strategy for the game in North America, because the women’s team has such high brand recognition right now," Eric Handler, senior equity analyst for MKM Partners, told TIME. "But the day the FIFAfranchise has to rely on who's on the cover to sell more units, that will be the peak of the game. It's doing very well on its own, no matter who's on the cover."
Photo Credit: Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images