“Part of the reason we decided to do this is because there are gay footballers,” game director Miles Jacobson, told BBC Sport last month.
Football Manager is a popular football management simulation, which has sold more that 15 million copies to date. The newest instalment of the franchise, Football Manager 2018 is out today (November 10).
“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.”
The gay footballers will only apply to the game’s ‘newgens’, newly-spawned computer-generated, fictional characters who are drafted in at the end of each season to replace retired players. There will be no spontaneous outings of established players.
If one of these players at your club comes out, you – as the titular Football Manager – find out from a news piece in your in-game inbox.
Shortly afterwards, your commercial director will inform you of a boost in the club’s revenue, in part due to new attention from the LGBT community, Jacobson explained to BBC Sport.
He added that responses to the have so far been overwhelmingly positive, saying that he’s received “half a dozen negative replies” on Twitter.
“I would normally get more if I told people they were getting a free diamond with their copy of the game.”
I couldn’t care less. Put it in a game where it holds no relevance or function though I’ll take the piss out of it. PC society pressure ?
— deron (@slack_toe) October 29, 2017
Helps bring attention to a serious societal deficiency, if you think that’s being too PC then more fool you. ?
— James Copley (@CopleyMoz) October 29, 2017
“I look forward to the day where people who work in football feel 100% comfortable with who they are, whatever their ethnicity, religion, or sexuality,” he added.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.