This is a very media-based lawsuit that could have real consequences for the gaming industry. Manchester United club decided to sue Sports Interactive, publisher and developer of Football Manager, for illegal use of its brand in the game.
In detail, the Red Devils criticize sports simulation unauthorized use of the name "Manchester United". The use of a logo different from the official badge is also considered abusive by the English football giant.
Football Manager's simulation aspect is threatened
Sports Interactive was quick to respond. According to the studio, Manchester United is trying to prevent free competition in the video game field, by allowing some to use the official name, while others do not have this privilege. Lawyers for the developer, who is in the fold of Sega, even specify that "it would amount to an unreasonable restriction of the right to freedom of expression to restrict the use of the words "Manchester United" to designate a team in a video game "
With regard to the use of the logo, the company claims to have chosen a different badge because it was not authorized to use the official.
Sports Interactive also recalls that Manchester United has been included in the various versions of the sports management game since 1992 without this having ever been a problem. Better, the club even got closer to the studio in order to gain access to the gigantic game database and spot new players.
This case is in any case closely scrutinized in the video game industry and by the big clubs. In recent years, there has been a real trend towards the marketing of rights intended for sports simulations. Juventus Turin for example signed an exclusive partnership with PES 2020. These contracts force other games to adapt. In FIFA 20, Juve is called Piemonte Calcio and the club is called "Zebras" in Football manager 2020. If these evolutions were to become generalized, it would be a very big blow for these simulations whose immersion would take a big blow.