Football Manager 2020’s player database has been altered after accusations of racial profiling (via INews).
Last year, an article stated that game-generated players with darker skin would be more likely to rank poorly for professionalism, loyalty and sportsmanship. Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson denied these claims, and explained that generated players with darker skin would rank favourably for traits like ambition, temperament and controversy. Jacobson invited the article’s author to prove their argument with data in a Twitter post.
However, the developer has since changed the game’s database of generated players, after these accusations. Before, Football Manager would use the averages of the traits of a given nationality. For example, all game-generated Nigerian players would be derived from every active Nigerian player in the game. Now, all attributes of all players will be generated randomly.
Football Manager 2020’s database of statistics is produced by a global network of head researchers and assistants, who analyse the performance of thousands of players to replicate accurate data. These researchers may be data analysts at professional clubs, Uefa-qualified coaches, or die-hard fans of the game. Whatever data this group brings back, it is the role of the head researchers to scrutinise the profiles created, which would include the personality traits of the profile. Sports Interactive maintained that the original system was not discriminatory, but the generation of new players will be determined differently.
Football Manager 2020 is available for PC and Switch.