Ever since the football was taken behind closed doors and eventually cancelled altogether, fans of Football Manager have been wondering whether the Coronavirus pandemic would be present within the game’s structure.
So, we thought we’d dig deep and try to answer the question on everyone’s minds:
Will coronavirus feature on Football Manager 21?
Before we begin, don’t forget you can pre-order Football Manager 2021 for just £29.99 if you’re quick.
FM has always integrated current affairs into the user experience.
When the work permits situation was implemented in the UK and Europe, which restricted the ability for European teams to purchase international players, the feature was brought in.
And who can forget that on Football Manager 20 they introduced brexit.
One fan, writing in the Metro, posited that there are multiple news stories from 2020 to consider in FM21.
There is [also] an ongoing, concerted effort to reflect the Black Lives Matter message across the sporting world. Will Sports Interactive reflect this? With the shadow of Brexit on the horizon, which will land halfway through the season, would any changes and restrictions to the movement of labour be reflected, similar to how the visa issue affected teams in earlier versions?
Miles Jacobson of Sports Interactive released a statement earlier this year covering the problems they’ve faced in continuing the franchise amid the pandemic, saying:
We’ve been very quiet about future plans throughout this period, but then I never like us to talk about our plans until everything is definitively settled. I know that frustrates some of our fans, but it’s a policy that’s worked well for us in the 25+ years we’ve been making games. What I can confirm today is that, despite all the problems going on in the world, there will be new Football Manager games released later this year. They will be delivered a little later than we’d originally planned, but they’ll have exceptionally strong feature sets… albeit different to those we thought we’d settled on back in January when I completed my ‘dream feature set’.
It has taken a monumental effort to make this possible. The flexibility the team have shown through this period has been incredible; we’ve been changing scope, both upwards and downwards, on an almost weekly basis (and often as a result of changes in people’s personal circumstances). I firmly believe you’ll all appreciate the improvements and new features this year — and for us to have created the games that we’re going to deliver later this year during a global pandemic is something else I’m very proud of.
Lower league clubs facing financial ruin in the heat of this crisis seems like a perfect feature to add to the newest game but would it be in bad taste? Would it be better for FM to deny the reality we are tackling the world over or embrace the changes and make for an even tougher managerial experience?