FANCY getting that football fan in your life some Scottish independence for Christmas? Well, thanks to the developers behind the hugely popular Football Manager series of computer games, now you can.

The exceptionally complex, and detailed, and clever and addictive game has added Brexit and Scottish independence to the scenarios facing players in the 2017 games.

For the last 24 years Football Manager has been one of the most popular simulation games on the market. Players take over the running of a football club and deal with everything from contracts to training to press conferences.

A screenshot of the latest version shows an email from a personal assistant, telling the manager: “It has been announced that England, Wales, N Ireland and Gibraltar will be leaving the European Union at the end of the season. Scotland has decided after a referendum to remain with the European Union and leave Great Britain. From next season, players from the European Union will need to apply for work permits to play in England, Wales, N Ireland and Gibraltar.

“European Union players already playing in these nations will be given special status to allow them to be treated as non-foreign and will not require any work permit.”

Football Manager is made by video game development company Sports Interactive. Director Miles Jacobson said he believes it is the first time a “computer game has tried to predict the future of a country”.

Jacobson and his team have built a Brexit simulator into this year’s game, which models some of the consequences of the UK leaving Europe.

“We usually try to keep politics out of the game because nobody wants it rammed down their throat,” he said. “But 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. It’s something we had to reflect in the game, so we sat down with the research guys and started to plan how we might put it in.”

“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 will take. It could be 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 first option for the game was to have just one scenario and that would be it, Brexit done, but it’s not possible to come out with one outcome and it won’t be until all the negotiations are done.

“As a result, we decided to include every possible outcome in the game, using artificial intelligence and percentage chances to make every game different.”

The game will be released early next month.


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