Football Manager is a massive franchise which fans classify as the best management simulator for the world’s most famous sport. It has gone to great lengths to deserve such recognition and it appears that it’s always trying to push one step further towards reality. The latest move in that direction is allowing its virtual gay footballers to come out.
Football Manager 2018 launches on Steam early next month. It is the first game in the franchise to include such a feature. However, the virtual recreations of real-life players are not part of the list of possibly-gay footballers. Only randomly-generated players that join the league to replace retired professionals will have this opportunity.
The developers made sure that coming out is a positive thing in the game. Whenever a footballer from your club comes out, you will receive a news item about it. Soon after, a boost in revenue will hit the club, courtesy of the local LGBT community.
As for why the developers decided to include such a feature, Miles Jacobson, the game’s director, had this to say:
“Part of the reason we decided to do this is because there are gay footballers. 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. I just think it’s crazy that in 2017 we are in a world where people can’t be themselves.”
While this is an important step in battling homophobia in both gaming and football, not all players will see such an event. Jacobson said that the company had to take some legal advice, regarding some of the less-liberal countries around the world. In some countries, homosexuality is still illegal.Therefore, if a virtual player from these countries will not come out as gay.