Football Manager 2018 To Feature Gay ‘New-Gen’ Players In Attempt To Help Normalise Footballers Coming Out

Chris Wright

30th, October 2017


Image: Sports Interactive

The latest incarnation of the Football Manager franchise will include gay footballers in a concerted attempt to help ‘normalise’ the process of professional footballers coming out publicly.

The 2018 edition of Football Manager will see players coming out – not the existing, real-life players but the fictional, randomly-generated young players who start to appear once the game’s database begins to refresh itself.

The issue is handled sensitively, with players openly revealing their sexuality during press interviews and the like.

Image: Football Manager 2018 (via BBC Sport)

Football Manager grand supremo, Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson, explained the decision to BBC Sport:

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.

Indeed, gamers have already seen their players come out despite the beta version of FM2018 only being released a few days ago.

After a player comes out, the club being managed receives a revenue boost as a result of “increased interest from the LGBT community”.

As you may expect, some folk have been utterly outraged by Sports Interactive’s efforts to help address the stigma and acknowledge gay sportsmen as human beings in their own right, though Jacobson has Tweeted that the general reaction has been “a lot more positive” than expected.

Of course, nothing will ever change if people don’t take positive steps towards inclusion and tolerance across the board, so Football Manager’s small but nonetheless brave step in that direction is to be wholeheartedly admired.

Posted in Games, Newsnow

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  1. Beano says:

    Just wondering what impact they’re expecting out of this. Can’t imagine the more bigoted football fans make up a substantial portion of Football Manager’s fanbase vs. less niche football games like FIFA or PES

    • Chris Wright says:

      @Beano: Lot of young FM players though. Educating and informing the next generation to be nicer human beings than the last.

      • Franny says:

        I kind of get the good intention behind it, but I do feel it’s a bit forced? I think it would be 100% relevant if player’s sexuality/marital status/relationship stability etc was an attribute or feature in the game ..but this feels a bit shoe-horned, I dunno..

        • Chris Wright says:

          @Franny: Small steps in the right direction, I suppose. That’s how big societal changes begin.

          • Franny says:

            True, they should incorporate something like an announcement from your assistant manager saying “Joe Bloggs has come out as gay…to be fair this has absolutely no effect on his performance on the pitch, and in fact it’s none of our business where he puts his penis”.

  2. Beans says:

    Because shoving social issues into video games works out great and definitely doesn’t piss people off. Now I can’t even play FM without being told gay people exist; I know, I don’t care, shut up.

    • Beano says:

      tbf they added in text about Brexit to last year’s Football Manager too. Seems the game devs feel they need to include non-football related content, for some reason

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