The effect of COVID-19 has had a massively widespread effect on our lives, and the sports industry has felt it harder than most. After a sustained period of time where leagues were suspended, we have now come back into an eerily different sporting experience, with fans either banned from stadiums or those stadiums only being partly full. However, by far, the biggest impact has been the financial one, with clubs struggling to keep going, or in some cases, risking going bust entirely. So naturally, going into this year’s Football Manager, big decisions would need to be made about handling the ongoing pandemic in a way that represents an escape from reality while still being true to the current state of the sport. Miles Jacobson, the studio director of Sports Interactive, recently published a blog post where he detailed how COVID-19 will be represented in Football Manager 2021.
“Your chosen club’s finances will inevitably be in a worse state than you would normally expect when you start a new save. The most visible knock-on effect of this will be transfers; we’ve rewritten chunks of our transfer system to ensure that while superstars and wonderkids will retain their value, Football Manager 2021 will see more ‘loan to buy’ offers, the value of mid-range players dropping and clubs in real financial trouble trying to move players on a more regular basis. However, as money comes back into the game over time, the transfer system will adapt and eventually return to some sense of ‘normal’.
There will be no “illness” or quarantine represented in-game. There were mods for the previous year’s game, but as outlined in the blog post, “Football Manager is meant to be an escape from reality, and having a squad ravaged with an illness has the opposite effect.” He’s not wrong on that front.
Finally, he reached out to fans to help decide on one new feature going into Football Manager 2021. As we previously explained, gestures are now a thing in Football Manager, and due to COVID-19, the studio wasn’t sure whether to reflect that with one type of gesture. They asked fans on Twitter to decide between the traditional handshake or COVID-19-safe elbow bump.
So in case you didn't see my earlier tweet, this poll, which will be live for 7 days starting from now, is explained at https://t.co/3oVmRppHew and is in regards to the newly added in-game gestures for #FM21
Please read before voting!
Your vote matters.
— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) October 20, 2020