Women’s football teams will finally be included in Football Manager.
Developer Sports Interactive and publisher Sega have begun work on a multi-year project to add the teams to the series.
While there’s no specific date yet, their intention is to add women’s teams as soon as possible.
What’s more, women’s teams won’t be separate from the men’s game. Instead, managers will be able to take control of both teams and move between them seamlessly.
The developer is committed to ensuring the women’s teams are represented authentically and with the same level of detail and realism the series is already known for.
“We have NO interest whatsoever in making a standalone women’s football version of FM. What we are doing is adding women’s football to FM… one sport, one game,” said Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive.
“We know that adding women’s football to FM is going to cost in the millions and that the short-term return it delivers will be minimal. But that’s not the point. There’s no hiding that there’s currently a glass ceiling for women’s football and we want to do what we can to help smash through it. We believe in equality for all, and we want to be part of the solution.
“We want to be a part of the process that puts women’s football on an equal footing with the men’s game. We know that we’re not alone in this – the historic TV deal that Sky and the BBC recently agreed with WSL in England is proof of that – but we intend to do everything we can to get women’s football to where it deserves to be.”
In a blog post, Jacobson went into more details on the studio’s plans for Football Manager.
Firstly, the team will be creating a comprehensive global database of women’s football, something that’s taken 28 years for the series so far.
They’ll also be building new 3D models for the players with fresh motion capture.
Then there’s the different transfer system; the impact of menstrual cycles and pregnancy; gender-specific language; and much more.
The length of the post, though, is evidence of Jacobson and the studio’s commitment to this Football Manager project.
Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes has commented on the news.
“Women’s football is capturing the imagination of fans across the globe and we’re making huge strides in terms of attendance figures and broadcast deals,” she says.
“For the women’s game to get to the next level, though, it needs to be recognised as an integral part of the world of football, not something separate and different. We want future generations to grow up in a world where football isn’t divided into ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’… it’s just football. The ambitious plan that the Sports Interactive team have for Football Manager will play a huge part in getting us there.”
Earlier this year, Sports Interactive partnered with Pride Sports to include Football vs Homophobia digital banners in the game.