Upcoming football sim game Football Manager 2018 will feature gay players. Developer Sports Interactive explains that it’s “quite rare, but we want it to be seen as a positive thing”.
Sports Interactive Explains Why Football Manager 2018 Has Gay Characters
Sports Interactive reveals that Football Manager 18‘s ‘newgens’ (fictional, newly generated characters) may come out as gay in the game but that no existing, licensed characters will come out. “It’s not a message that everyone is going to see in their game. It is quite rare, but we want it to be seen as a positive thing,” Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson tells BBC Sport.
Jacobson also explains that gay characters may not be seen in some regions within the game. The Football Manager 2018 team had to take legal advice as in some countries it is illegal to be gay and “so if a player is based in one of those countries, the player won’t come out.”
I wasn't expecting this to be found so quickly but yes, it's real. And you get a nice little merchandise boost if it happens in your save 😃🌈 https://t.co/sceRnqCOzo
— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) October 29, 2017
On Twitter, Jacobson also confirms that Football Manager 2018 players will actively benefit when a player comes out. Responding to a fan, the developer says that players will get a “nice little boost” to their merchandise sales if it happens during their save game.
Football Manager 2018 is the first football sim game to allow players to come out as gay. Neither the FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer series include player ‘coming outs’. But with that said, FIFA has included female players since 2015’s FIFA 16 and there are many out, gay female footballers (such as the United States’ Megan Rapinoe).
FIFA 17 also introduced an LGBTQ Pride kit to its FIFA Ultimate Team game mode to support a campaign against LGBTQ discrimination. This move was met with anger from some players and calls from Russian officials to ban the game. But the negative reaction from some football fans highlights why more footballers don’t come out during their professional careers and why it’s positive to see Football Manager 2018 make this step.
Football Manager 2018 will be released on November 10 on Windows PC, Mac and Linux via Steam. It is currently available in early access beta.
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