It’s fair to say that the women’s game has exploded in recent years. Whilst men’s football has been at the forefront of the game for decades, that of the women’s game has only really begun to take hold over the last few. But the strides it has made have been noticed everywhere, most notably at Sports Interactive and SEGA as they announce that work has started on a multi-year project to ensure that women’s football is included in their iconic Football Manager series.
With recent launch on Xbox with that of Football Manager 2021 Xbox Edition, going forward we should be seeing the women’s game integrated fully into Football Manager’s living, breathing world.
This will be no standalone expansion either – it’ll be built in totally, letting players take control of either a men’s or women’s club, moving between them seamlessly.
Whilst there is no set date for this integration, those behind it intend to incorporate the women’s game as soon as realistically possible. Sports Interactive’s development team is committed to ensuring that women’s football is represented as authentically as possible and with the level of realism and attention to detail that the series is renowned for and will not announce a launch date until these standards have been met.
Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive, said: “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.”
“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.”
The move to incorporate women’s football into FM has received support from leading figures inside the football industry, including Chelsea FC Women manager, Emma Hayes.
“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,” says Hayes. “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.”
We’ll be sure to keep you updated as to how the integration works as and when further details drop. In the meantime, let us know what you think of this move. The comments are below.
If you wish to know more, a detailed overview of the project and some of the technical work that it will entail is presented in a blog by Jacobson, published today on the Football Manager website.