Developer Sports Interactive has announced an interesting new feature for this year’s Football Manager.
The news has revealed via an interview with the Daily Mirror, in which studio director Miles Jacobson said that new characters will be able to come out.
These are fake youth players that are taken into teams, a decision taken as to not accidentally out any real footballers.
“It happens with what are called the ‘newgens’,” said studio director Miles Jacobson. “They are fake players that come into the game every year as the youth intake of football clubs.
“It doesn’t happen with any real life players because of course we don’t know who in real life is gay and who isn’t, and we didn’t want to wrongly be outing players.”
At the moment, real-life gay players aren’t in the beta that is in the wild right now, with Jacobson saying that they will be added at a later date.
Players coming out is a rare occurrence, but when it does clubs are rewarded with a boost in merchandise sales as a new audience comes in to buy goodies.
“It happens quite rarely,” said Jacobson. “But we believe if a player were to come out they wouldn’t get much trouble, and the clubs themselves would see a merchandise boost because you’d be having a different audience wanting to support that player.
“If you look at any time when someone has come out it does mean that there is support for them from people who might not have been as supportive in the past.
“The LGBT community is incredibly strong, and they do support each other because they know how difficult some of them have had it and how other people have made it easier.”
This isn’t the first time that Sports Interactive has taken the Football Manager series beyond its base subject matter. Last year’s edition featured Brexit, simulating different outcomes of the UK’s exit from the European Union. That version has sold more than 1m copies since launch.
“We’re not trying to push an agenda onto anyone, we just believe this is something that is going to happen in real life,” Jacobson said. “If there is something we feel passionately about in the studio that is going to be part of football then yes, absolutely.
“With Brexit being in the game, it was completely non-political. There were hundreds of thousands for different scenarios because there are hundreds of thousands of different scenarios for what could happen to football, post-Brexit.
“We try to be inclusive of everyone in the game.”