(Reuters) – Australian forward Sam Kerr will be the first female player to feature on the global cover of Electronic Arts’ FIFA video game when the near-three decades old franchise launches ‘FIFA 23’ this year, the gaming developer announced on Monday.
Kerr, who plays for Women’s Super League champions Chelsea, will be featured alongside Paris St Germain forward and France’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, who has adorned the cover of the last two editions.
Kerr, 28, was the WSL’s top scorer last season with 20 goals in as many appearances. She has also scored 56 goals in 108 appearances for Australia since her debut in 2009 at the age of 15.
“Two phenomenal forces up front. One ultimate strike partnership,” said EA Sports FIFA in a Twitter https://twitter.com/EASPORTSFIFA/status/1549061580888891403 post revealing the cover.
Women have featured only on regional covers in previous years. American Alex Morgan and Canada’s Christine Sinclair featured alongside Lionel Messi on the cover of the North American editions of FIFA 16 — the first to have women’s teams.
The FIFA series is one of the world’s most successful video-game franchises that has raked in billions of dollars in sales but this year’s edition is EA’s final title after they parted ways with world soccer governing body FIFA.
EA made a significant offer to FIFA for an eight-year exclusivity period across all of FIFA’s gaming and esports rights, but the soccer body was unwilling to lock up all of its gaming and e-football rights with just one publisher.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar)