Developer Sports Interactive has announced that Football Manager 2018 will include gay players, which is a first for the franchise.
Many might see the inclusion of gay players in Football Manager 2018 as just another publicity stunt. However, in an interview with BBC Miles Jacobson, the game’s director, stated that the reason for their decision was simply that there are real gay footballers in the sport:
“We know from the amount of professionals that there has to be players who are gay but feel they don’t want to come out. I find it weird that it’s still a problem in football so we decided to try and show people that coming out isn’t a big deal and can be a positive thing.”
Sports Interactive also verified that only procedurally generated characters will come out as gay. Why you might ask? Well, as Jacobson so elegantly put it, “Because unlike real players, they can’t sue us.”
“We also had to take some legal advice, because in some countries that are less forward-thinking than the UK, it is still illegal to be gay. In those cases, we have simply respected their laws, so if a player is based in one of those countries, the player won’t come out.
Jacobson also confirmed that not everyone will see players coming out in the game. It is quite rare and that they wanted it to be seen as a positive thing. Although coming out as gay will not affect a player’s ability on the field at all, there has been a lot of people reacting both positively and negatively to the announcement.
The news was originally discovered by someone who was playing the Football Manager 2018 Beta and posted a screenshot on Twitter. This, however, is not the first time that the series has embraced controversial topics. The last instalment included potential scenarios where the players had visa issues due to Brexit.