Football Manager 2018 is launching in a couple of weeks and with it comes a whole new era in sports games. The game’s Beta is officially underway and players have spotted a minor but very interesting detail. Now managers can get emails with announcements of players coming out of the closet as gay.
This might seem like a minor detail in Football Manager 2018 but in reality, discrimination of sexual orientation in sports games is a common thing. There are, in fact, players that have announced that they are gay after their football retirement which is why the development team wanted to make clear that coming out as gay is not a huge deal, even if you are a football player.
One of the screenshots indicating this feature in an email in-game, shows Evans coming out as gay and that’s about it. The rest of the email is about what the player’s goals are. Football Manager 2018 director, Miles Jacobson told 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 have 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.”
This, of course, won’t include real-life players but only virtual ones called “newgens”. The company 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, according to Jacobson. In those cases, they have simply respected their laws, so if a player is based in one of those countries, the player won’t come out.
He ended his interview by saying that “Being gay is just a totally normal thing in life, and it’s the right thing to put it in the game because it’s something that we’re going to be seeing in the future.”
Football Manager 2018 comes to PC on November 10th through Steam.