Football games come in all shapes and sizes. From simulators like EA Sports’ FIFA to the football-themed slot machines you’ll find at the top online casino Ireland has to offer, they cover pretty much every corner, every position on the football gaming turf. Some of them – like the Football Star slot machine – are playful and casual in their effort to pay homage to the sport.
Others are realistic and immersive. And then there’s Football Manager, a franchise with a history of more than a decade that helps gamers explore the “other side” of football.
Football Manager features pretty much every major club and national team in the world. At the same time, these clubs’ names are valuable trademarks – this is the reason why Sports Interactive, the developer behind the game, decided to drop the “Manchester United” brand completely.
Infringement or legitimate reference?
“Football Manager” did use the name “Manchester United” in the game but didn’t use the official crest of the club. Apparently, both of these represent infringement in the view of the club’s management. United claimed that SEGA (the publisher) and Sports Interactive (the developer) infringed its trademark by using the name of the club.
On the other hand, the other two parties insisted that it was nothing more than a “legitimate reference to the Manchester United football team in a football context”. As for the crest, the club’s lawyers have stated that it “deprives the registered proprietor of its right to have the club crest licensed”.
As a result, “Football Manager” will no longer use the name “Manchester United” in any version of the game starting with FM22. The news was confirmed by Sports Interactive in a brief statement published on Twitter and the developer’s homepage that reads “Manchester United and Sega have agreed on a settlement to amicably resolve their trademark dispute relating to Football Manager. Both parties are pleased to resolve this matter to their mutual satisfaction.”
The club will be renamed “Manchester UFC” in the upcoming version of the game.
FM and MUFC
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not like this piece of news. The former striker revealed in an interview that he learned a great deal about football while playing the game. He revealed that he played a lot of FM at the time he was a player, and it has helped him develop into a manager. In fact, he said that playing the game has inspired him to give young players a chance to develop. Besides, he also pointed out that many of his players play FM, which helps them understand football even better.