Football Manager 2018 has become the first videogame which gives footballers the option of being gay.
The game is still two weeks away from being released, but Sports Interactive have put out a Beta version for their fans, who have been quite busy exploring the new features.
One of the biggest changes happens to be the inclusion of openly gay footballers.
Sports Interactive have since confirmed the feature. And in an interview with the Mirror, studio director Miles Jacobson gave some additional information.
“It happens with what are called the ‘newgens’,” he said. “They are fake players that come into the game every year as the youth intake of football clubs.
“It doesn’t happen with any real life players because of course we don’t know who in real life is gay and who isn’t, and we didn’t want to wrongly be outing players.”
Image obtained from the Mirror.
Players who have actually come out as gay, such as Robbie Rogers, who plays for L.A Galaxy, have not been included in the Beta version, but Sports Interactive has announced that they will be added at a later date.
Jacobson also revealed that the inspiration came through speaking with people involved in football, as well as the entertainment industry. Hugo Scheckter, the liaison officer for Premier League club Southampton who came out a year ago, was one of them.
“He gets a lot of credit for this and we did speak to him about this feature before we put it in the game,” Jacobson said. “We didn’t really have a way to do things until we were able to hear the stories directly from people in the sport who have come out.
“He was telling me how it had all been pretty positive, really, and had no problems at all, so we thought that the time was right to hopefully show people that they should be able to be themselves in the world.”
There will be certain restrictions, though, as some countries have certain laws against being gay. Players moving from a country where homosexuality is illegal won't come out as gay even though they move to another country either.
“If a player is from a country, or is playing in a league of a country, where it is illegal to come out, they will not come out in that country, so we’ve tried to be respectful,” he added.
“The way that we’ve decided to do it is that if they are from a country where it will be illegal to be gay then they will not come out because the repercussions for the player if they were to come home would be too severe for us to deal with in-game."