The term "Brexit" (British Exit) was coined long before the Brits made their rather shocking decision to leave the EU. The decision could have a huge impact on game developers based in the UK, and as it turns out it's also affecting the content inside games being made.
At least this is the case for Football Manager 2017, this year's instalment in the hugely successful series from Sports Interactive. Led by studio head Miles Jacobson, the team decided to include a Brexit simulation into their game, as the triggering of Article 50 (the article within the Treaty on European Union that allows for a withdrawal) will surely have major implications for British (and European) football leagues.
"We were left with an interesting situation this year when the people of Britain voted to leave the EU and it wouldn't have felt right to leave that out," Jacobson explains to The Telegraph.
"It's something we had to reflect on in the game, so we sat down with the research guys and started to plan how we might put it in."
It turned out to be a tough task, but the team kept at it:
"Of course, none of us know what will happen. [...] Six weeks ago I would have predicted a soft Brexit, but after the Conservative Party conference a hard Brexit is much more likely."
"We know Article 50 will be invoked before the end of March, but we don't know how long negotiations are going to take. They could take two years but there could be a general election within that time. There are provisions that if a deal hasn't been reached, negotiations could be extended or even scrapped."
The solution was a system where the players are alerted of the extent of the Brexit within 10 years of in-game time, based on one of three scenarios.
The first scenario is a so-called soft Brexit, where free movement of workers between EU and the UK remains like today. The second is a scenario where footballers are granted special exemptions making it easier to obtain work permits for non-UK citizens. The third is a hard Brexit, where all non-UK players will have to abide by the same rules that currently only applies for players from outside the EU.
Obviously the last option will provide the largest challenge for players, but in some ways also the most fun as it could quickly rewrite the power balance in the Premier League. You can read more about Brexit inside Football Manager 2017 over at The Telegraph.
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