Sports Interactive and SEGA Europe have today announced that work has started on a multi-year project to bring women’s football into its iconic Football Manager series. The result of this landmark work will not be a standalone women’s football management simulation. Instead, women’s football will be fully incorporated into FM’s living, breathing world. Managers will be able to take control of either men’s or women’s clubs and move between them seamlessly.
The studio has not set a definitive date for when the project will be completed. However, the intention is to incorporate the women’s game as soon as realistically possible. The development team wants to ensure 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. This means they won’t 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.
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.
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.