The Football Manager saga is preparing for one of the greatest revolutions in its history. Sports Interactive will integrate women’s soccer in future installments, not as a separate game mode or as a stand-alone title, but within the traditional simulation experience that we have all known forever. And they do not do it for commercial or financial interests, but because they believe that it is a necessary step to help create a more equal society.
Driven by the announcement, Jacobson, director of the study, about the arrival of women’s football to the game.And there was a question that we could not ignore for the interview. What is the percentage of workers at Sports Interactive? It is undeniable that the video game industry has a problem of inclusion and discrimination towards women, as shown by the recent controversy with Activision Blizzard, or cases such as Ubisoft and Riot Games. And with this, the opinion of the authors of Football Manager is clear: more women are needed in the sector.
As an industry, we are far below an acceptable percentage [of women] – and as a studio, we are no different. There’s been a big percentage increase in recent years, but it’s not even close to being ‘balanced’ yet, and it won’t be for a long time, “says Jakobson.” Educationally, we as a society need to encourage more women to perceive the video game industry as a decent job choice, and with women being the fastest growing demographic among gamers, I am hopeful that this will change over the next decade. “
Since the studio is working on adding women’s football to Football Manager, we have also asked how many women participate in this specific project. And here, the director of Sports Interactive explains that they have not hired anyone to work exclusively on this project, and that the employees who enter the studio do so because they are the right candidates for their positions, not because they are going to work on a focused project to women’s football.
Although there has been a hiring focused exclusively on this project.”We have a person who has been hired specifically for women’s football,” explains Jakobson. “Tina Keech (women’s soccer research director), but she did not get the position because she was a woman. She got the job because she was the most prominent candidate for the position among male and female applicants.”
Lack of inclusion is an increasingly pressing problem in the video game industry. At Sports Interactive they are not considered an exception, but they are aware of the problem and want to be part of the solution. The project to integrate women’s football does not yet have a launch window.