In Football Manager 2018, players can come out as gay.
Only newly generated, fictional players will be able to come out, to avoid legal issues with real-world players. If and when players do come out you will receive a news item in your inbox informing you. Your club will even receive a slight boost in revenue due to new attention from the LGBTQ community.
“It’s not a message that everyone is going to see in their game,” Football Manager director Miles Jacobson told BBC Sport. “It is quite rare, but we want it to be seen as a positive thing.”
Sports Interactive did not announce the new mechanic. It was discovered, as was intended, by someone playing the game. Currently the beta version is available ahead of Football Manager 2018’s 10th November release.
“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,” said Jacobson.
His “something we’re going to be seeing in the future” remark refers to top-flight English football still not having any current, openly gay players. Sadly there’s still a stigma attached to it.
“We are not going to be able to change the mind of someone who is homophobic, we don’t have that power,” he added, “and if someone has that issue and decides not to buy the game for that reason then to be honest I feel really sorry for them.
“Hopefully, it will make some people look up and think, ‘this is ridiculous’.”
Last year, Football Manager 2017 took on the topic of Brexit, showing players what the football ramifications would be of the UK leaving Europe.