Sports Interactive and Sega announced today that a multi-year multi-million dollar project has been launched to incorporate women's football into the Football Manager series. The developer added that it will not be a standalone women's football simulation, but will be fully incorporated into Football Manager, "with managers able to take control of men's or women's clubs and move & # 39; ls no problems ".
The study has not set a firm timeframe for the project, saying that “the development team is committed to ensuring that women’s football is represented in the most authentic way possible and with the level of realism and attention to detail that the series is famous ”and will not announce a release date until this standard is met.
Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive's studio director, said: "We have no interest in making a standalone version of FM women's football. What we're doing is adding women's football to FM … a sport, a game .
"We know that adding women's football to FM will cost millions and that the short-term profitability it offers will be minimal. But it's not that. It's no secret that there is currently a glass ceiling for women's football and we want to do what we can to help destroy it. We believe in equality for all and we want to be part of the solution. "
The main figures in the sport welcome the news. "Women's football is capturing the imagination of fans around the world and we are making tremendous progress in terms of attendance figures and broadcast offers," said Emma Hayes, Chelsea FC's female manager. "For the women's game to reach the next level, it must be recognized as an integral part of the world of football, not as something different and different. We want future generations to grow up in a world where football is not divided into “feminine” and “masculine” … it’s just football. The ambitious plan that the Sports Interactive team has for Football Manager will play an important role in achieving this. "
Hayes also has a history with the franchise, becoming the first British female manager of a women’s team to be added to the FM database in 2018.
Jacobson has written a detailed blog post talking about some of the practical aspects of this work. He begins by explaining why this project is so much broader than just releasing a female database that works within the current Football Manager. "That just wouldn't work, as there's a lot more to adding women's football to FM than just replacing male players with female players, but the issue of female data is interesting, so let's start here."
"First of all, it will take a while to build a complete global database of women's football. Our existing database has taken 28 years to build (so far) and there is a lot of information that needs to be investigated when adding just one team, let alone several leagues.To get a proper female database, we will need to examine all the attributes of the game and define exactly how we judge the data, attributes such as pace, acceleration and agility are likely to be will keep the same rank, but some attributes may need a different scale.These attributes are also incorporated into our match engine, of course, and the work done in this area (for example, looking at the height of the players and how this can affect their way of playing, such as aiming higher shots if a goalkeeper is smaller) will be beneficial to the game engine in general. "
There are currently fan-based projects, such as Women's database, which try to incorporate part of the women's game into FM, but, as Jacobson points out, it's not just data.
Among other things, there is a lot of mocap to do, as Sports Interactive currently has a lot of data mocapped for male players, but when applied to a female character model "well … it's they move like cowboys ".
"We have already completed our first two motion capture sessions with London's twin professionals, Rosie and Mollie Kmita. Given the restrictions on motion capture during a pandemic, it was critical that we could work with two people who shared a "Bubble" and Rosie and Mollie provided the perfect solution, in addition to being fantastic footballers. "
Sports Interactive also has a newly appointed head of research for women’s football, Tina Keech, a qualified coach and former head of research and analysis at Smartodds, who has already begun building the women’s database.
The team is currently working on a complete design document that "will provide us with a multi-year roadmap for engineering work. Nothing is finished in FM, we can always add more, and the same will be the case. it will not just add to it and forget about it, but it will continue to grow along with the rest of the world we create so that you can manage it. "
Jacobson ends by saying that "we are realistic that bringing women's football to FM will be a multi-year project. At this stage we don't know exactly how long the process will take, so we can't say exactly which version of FM will see women's football debut, but rest assured that our plan is to make this happen as soon as possible, while making sure you keep getting all the features you'd expect from new versions of FM by adding resources to your existing computer ".